Doctors in Sierra Leone Down Tools over Assault of Female Member

Sierra Leonean medical doctors have embarked on an indefinite strike following an alleged assault on a female member by a Government Minister at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown.

The association representing junior doctors has called for the resignation of the country’s Deputy Minister of Health, alongside the Chief Medical Officer and the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, whom were alleged to be involved in the assault on Dr Catherine Jackson-Cole.

Footage of Ms Jackson Cole protesting her assault

The incident on Tuesday followed a series of social and mainstream media reports exposing scenes at both Connaught and the largest maternity hospital, Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) that revealed lack of basic water, hygiene and sanitation facilities.

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Reports say that the officials tried to prevent Ms Jackson Cole from capturing a scene as cleaners at the country’s largest referral hospital, Connaught, protested over unpaid salaries. The cleaners have been on strike for over a week, due to months of unpaid salaries, which has left the facility in a state of disrepute.

Untidy premises at PCMH

The association also believes the alleged actions of the officials may have been influenced by the doctor’s action on social media, exposing unhygienic conditions at the hospital, which is located in the capital, Freetown.

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The doctors’ association said their members no longer feel safe working with the officials in charge of the ministry.

The statement said, “This event is frustrating and shows the continued disrespect by the officials at MoHS towards the medical practitioners across the country”

The association said its strike action will continue indefinitely until appropriate actions are taken regarding the assault and sanitation at the two main hospitals.

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