Information Minister Lewis Brown
Minister Brown Assures Ebola Hygienists Of ‘Just Benefits’
By Calvin Brooks
MONROVIA, September 4 (LINA) - Information Minister Lewis Brown has assured hygienists at the Ebola Treatment Unit at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center that they will be paid their just allowances.
He clarified that the Ebola allowance is not for all health workers across the country, but those who are working at Ebola Treatment Units that have been described as “high risk places.”
Minister Brown gave the assurance Thursday in a telephone interview on UNMIL Radio in Monrovia.
The assurance comes in the wake of a go-slow action by some hygienists at the Ebola Treatment Unit at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center on Thursday demanding their pay, which they claim is US$1,000 across the board.
Brown indicated that the Ebola allowances for doctors and nurses have been paid and that if anyone has not yet received their money, they should exercise restraint, as government is processing their pay.
He pointed out that five Ebola Treatment units are expected to be opened across Monrovia and that health workers who are working at high risk places will be paid accordingly, noting that government understands the risk involved in saving lives.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the hygienists at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center Ebola Treatment Unit, Maima Kollie, said they decided to strike if government does not pay them according to the agreement.
Madam Kollie explained that the hygienists are “the people who do the dirty job before doctors and the nurses are able to treat” suspected Ebola patients, noting that they are risking their lives without insurance benefits.
She indicated that 48 hygienists were trained to work at the Ebola Treatment Unit and that they were promised an allowance US$500 every two weeks across the board, noting, "But now health authorities are saying there is no contract with us."
According to the spokesperson, the Ministry of Health pay team came to the Ebola Treatment Unit at JFK on Wednesday and started paying them US$250 and US$300 which they rejected and decided to stop work until they get the US$1,000 promised them.
Madam Kollie also made the disclosure in a telephone interview with UNMIL Radio on Thursday as the hygienists embarked on a go-slow at the center.