By Alva M. Wolokolie from Gbarnga
Regular business activities and the return of health workers have commenced in the commercial city of Gbarnga, Bong County following one-day solidarity strike action staged by thousands of residents of that area.
It may be recalled that the National Health Workers of Liberia under the guidance of Joseph F. Tamba ended a week-long go-slow protest in demand of pay increment and other incentives. The health workers’ action has over a week affected thousands of patients with the 15 political sub-division of the country.
Considering the gravity of the situation, several civil society groups, business people, commercial drivers, including motorcyclists on Monday, July 29,2013 shut down all commercial activities in harmony with health workers residing in that part of the country.
As a result of that, Gbarnga was more of a deserted place being captured by some internal invaders. Commuters, traders and the ordinary people could not find their way out to either buy what they wanted or travel from one place to another.
But yesterday after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was reached and signed by the Health Workers, Civil Society Council, and the government of Liberia, the workers decided to suspend their action with a 60-day ultimatum to have their plights addressed.
During a tour of the county’s hospital early yesterday morning by the INQUIRER, it was a reality that nurses and medical staff at the Phebe Hospital woke up to work in fulfillment of the MOU signed.
In an interview with some of them who preferred anonymity told the INQUIRER that although they have been told to resume work but the issue of pay-rise and other benefits will remain uncompromising if it is not addressed after the 60 days.
The nurses most of whom are young with university education were seen doing their normal work catering and administering treatments to patients who came from far and near Gbarnga. So far for now, the working situation has been cordial because major shops, stores and commercial vehicles are operating.