Over 100 health workers in Yambio down tools

By Baraka John

At least 116 health workers running about eleven primary health care centers in Yambio County,Western Equatoria State staged a sit-down strike last weekdemandingfor better working conditions.

Mary Lidia a mother of 25 years visited Tindoka PHCU with her 2 years old son, a health Centre but was unable to get the service.

The 116 health workers are working under the project of Health Pooled Fund organization.

The health workers downed theirtools lastweek accusing Health Pooled Fund, an Organization of not implementing its programs in the County.

Some of the healthworkers who laid down their tools told Juba monitor in an exclusive interview that, the organization was accused of segregating the staff.

Moses Mandagione of the workers on strike said they would not resume work until government and the partner concerned agree to improve their working condition and pay them better dues.

“The reason why we have shut down these 11 facilities is because we are not convinced with this project of Health Pool Fund organization, you could see same program being run in the other counties; but the mode of payment differs. I receiveonly $188 per month which is not enough,” he complained.

The eleven Health workers serving at different Primary health care units including Yambio Primary Health care center, were seconded by the State ministry of health government staffs but were yet to be appointed or recruited by the State ministry of labor.

John Michael Mbikoaboyo a registered Nurse also said in most casesthe partner organization undermined their concern when they raise their concerns.

“So, these eleven health facilities in Yambio have closed done totally until further notice. We know that the closure of those health facilities would affect our communities but they should also know that we the health workers are always in the frontline and are at high risk of contracting diseases, so we need a better working condition,” Mr. Michael argued.

The administrator of Yambio County Primary Health CareCenter Ms. Silvia Hayat Gideon, confirmed to Juba Monitor that the eleven health Units in Yambio County werenot in operation because of the peaceful strike by the health workers contracted by Health pooled Fund to implement its project.

Ms. Hayat said if the strike continued it would have negative impact on the community who access those health units. She said the case has been forwarded to the state minister of health to intervene into.

Efforts to reach the state minister of health James Adu Votoki for comment were unsuccessful.

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