More than 10,000 Liberian health workers began a strike Monday to demand salary arrears and regular supplies of medicine and equipment.
The crumbling infrastructure of Liberia’s health sector lacks almost everything — medicine, beds, equipment, ambulances, even a reliable electricity supply.
“We are striking because we do not have medicines in the hospitals, no materials like gloves to protect ourselves before treating the patients which is dangerous for us, the laboratories are unequipped…. until today, most of the workers have not got their July salaries,” George Williams, secretary-general of the Health Workers Association, told reporters.
“We have realised the exchange rate with the US dollar is so terrible, and these salaries we are making are the same we have been making since eight years, the cost of living has tripled,” he said.
State-run hospitals and clinics were closed, sparking protests from patients in Monrovia.
Some 40 pregnant and sick women blocked a road in the northern suburb of Paynesville, shouting slogans.
“I don’t have money; I am not rich like the big people, so I cannot afford to go to any private clinic. I am eight months pregnant,” Annie Sieh, 35, said.
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