GUMH Health Workers Suspend Go-Slow

GANTA, Nimba – The Ganta United Methodist Hospital Health Workers Association has suspended its planned go-slow originally scheduled for August 17, 2015.

Making the disclosure on Voice of Gompa on Tuesday morning in Ganta, the president of the association, Ephraim Yangar, said their decision to suspend the go-slow action is based on the intervention of some prominent citizens of the county and that of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital administration.

Yangar said they believed those calling on them to cut off their planned action will assist in addressing their plight as soon as possible.

The health workers at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital had planned to abandon their activities due to what Yangar said was the “government’s refusal to pay hazard (risk) benefits owed them following the Ebola crisis.”

Yangar said since September 2014 when President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf promised to pay healthcare workers the hazardous work benefits, it has yet to be fulfilled. He said the first payment date was scheduled for March 2015 but that did not materialize.

Another payment date was set for July and again, it did not come to fulfillment. He maintained that all efforts to have them receive their hazardous work benefits have yielded no success, despite a meeting with the County Health Officer, Dr. Collins Boah.

Yangar said that Boah assured them that they would receive their hazard benefits within the first week of August 2015.

The health workers association is scheduled to meet on Friday to deliberate on another way forward.

Yangar maintained that their planned action is not canceled altogether, but is currently on hold pending redress from the government and those they believed are making some intervention.

He added, “We respect the voices of those calling on us to hold our go-slow action and we are counting on them for some positive impact.”

Yangar named Nimba County Assistant Superintendent for Development, D. Dorr Cooper as one of the individuals negotiating with the government on their behalf over their hazardous work benefits.

Nimba County, specifically Ganta, was badly hit during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. During the Ebola outbreak, Cooper was the Mayor of Ganta and the chairman of the city’s Ebola Task Force Committee. Another member of the task force committee was the then administrator of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Victor Doolakeh Taryor.

The front view of the newly renovated Ganta United Methodist Hospital. Photo: Arrington Ballah

The front view of the newly renovated Ganta United Methodist Hospital. Photo: Arrington Ballah

The Ganta United Methodist was one of the few health centers that did not shut its doors to the public amidst the death of numerous health workers in the country.

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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