(Buchanan – 24 July 2013) At least two people recently died in Grand Bassa County as angry Health Workers staged a nationwide strike action.
According to reports gathered by our reporter in Buchanan, one of the patients who died came from District #2 while the other was resident of District 4.
The Finance Officer of at St. Peter’s Catholic Health Center, Mr. Michael D. Bolar, said the patient from District #2 gave birth in a critical state and was rushed to Buchanan for emergency medication
Bolar said she needed some treatment that would help restore her breath before further interventions, but the patient died upon arrival at the Catholic Health Center. He and other sources told our reporter that the patient was first rushed to the Government’s Hospital, but there were no nurses to attend to her.
According to them, she was then taken to the St. Peter’s Catholic Health Center where she gave up the ghost in the car upon arrival there.
Her remains were left in the taxi cab and taken back to the district while the husband was weeping in tears, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, the other patient’s death news from District 4 was revealed to our reporter by a resident of Central Buchanan Community, Mr. Raymond Guehyouway. In an interview, Guehyouway said the man was brought to Buchanan and taken to the Government’s Hospital for treatment but, like the previous, nobody was there to attend to him.
Guehyouway said the deceased was taken to a relative’s home in one of Buchanan’s communities. In the process of taking him back to District #4, he died.
Contacted for comments, the Medical Director of the Liberian Government’s Hospital, Doctor Myer C. Pajibo, said he was not aware of the deaths.
According to him, there was a skeletal team set up to attend to emergency cases of such.
He said the team was made up of the Nursing Director, the Doctor and few nurses. He added that if they were informed, they would have sent an ambulance to go for these patients.
However, in a telephone interview with Doctor Pajibo about 7:30 pm on Wednesday night, he said he had told the public how serious the situation (strike) was and that government needed to take prompt actions to address the health worker’s concern.
In a related development, a woman identified as Rebecca Larway who had a miscarriage and had the retain placenta problem survived it at the Catholic Health Center.
At least hundreds of health workers across the country late July staged a weeklong strike action in demands of benefits and other ingredients to make them effective. Among others, the demanded increased salaries.
According to the President of the Bassa Chapter of the National Health Workers Association, Mr. Macaulay Kinlinwolo, Jr., the main reason for their action was that professional nurses who earned Bc and ASC are underpaid, earning US$175 and US$79 respectively, while some have worked for 10-15 years and have not been placed on government payroll.
Kinlinwolo said everyone would be happy if they are placed on payroll, receive benefits and be covered with by National Social Security and Welfare Corporation.
He stated that the expression of salary increment by health workers started far back in February of this year but government has downplayed their request.
“Even though we are human beings who took oath to save lives, but our lives are involved too.” He continued. “If I don’t take pay how my little son will get food to eat. I should be saving lives and myself be dying? They feed their families; so, they too must talk for us and help to settle some our plights because they are genuine.”
The health workers called off the strike action after mass public appeals, giving government a three month ultimatum to address their concerns as the causalities are stay being counted.