The unheard peaceful protest of health workers across South Sudan

Posted: May 3, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Liberty Brown, Juba South Sudan

Friday, May 3, 2019 (PW) — Earlier this year, the National Ministry of Health introduced a harmonized scale named, “Health Workers harmonization Incentive Scale”. This scale is a degrading scale instead of upgrading all the health workers of different categories. It ranges from Medical Doctors to supportive staffs (cleaners & watchmen), the money were reduced to the level that you can even bite the decision maker of this scale with your teeth in case you meet him face to face.

The person is none other then the long serving undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Makur Matur Koriom and the other high position holders in the Ministry including H.E the Minister. The three pages letter was subjected to all the NGOs & NNGOs supporting health services across the state and more especially the non-independent ones getting their funds from Health pool Funds/healthful Funds.

The salaries were reduced into incentives of which these health workers are not Government health workers to entail incentives. Their names are not in the Government payroll/pay sheets and this scale is affecting South Sudanese nationals only excluding the favoured foreigners who are of the same qualifications as the nationals.

This has angered workers, the non – advantageous group who were working for the humanitarian agencies and not the government. This has ignited strike across the young nation of which a blind eye has been turned to their outcry during the pass few weeks. South Sudan is health hazardous in different forms of which attention need to be taken to save lives.

We are ticking to malarial season of which malaria is one of the major killer diseases, maternal healthcare problems of different forms and many other life-threatening hazards. Yirol, Eastern Lakes State took the lead in the peaceful demonstration last month followed by Warrap, Awiel, Abyei and finally Jonglei State which will stage theirs during the course of this week. Three days ago in the areas of Bunagook, Awerial and Mingkaman of Eastern Lakes State suffered the outcome of the protest.

Patients suffered lack of medical attention in those areas as well as Yirol Hospital, the mother Hospital in the State supported CUAM(an Italian NGO). The discouraging figures for the workers are as follows: A medical doctor who use to get $1000 dollars and above based on his role in the health facility has been reduced to $600 and below, clinical officers: from $700 – $389, Nurses and midwives based on their documents whether a registered or a certificate holder were degraded to $200 or $188 from either $600 or $500 respectively.

Lab – technicians were reduced from $500 to $200.  The affected groups in the Primary Health care and Secondary health care levels built up are the: public healthcare workers, medical assistants, anaethetists, MCH, CHWs, pharmacists, dispensers, nutrition workers, EPI workers, supportive staffs of which their salaries were reduced to $15 dollars from $150 which is so discouraging with this economical crisis, an equivalent of 3000ssp.

The scale was mandatory as imposed so no change or alteration from the date of the signature. Therefore, the health workers stage the peaceful protest for the decision to be reversed to its original state. The health workers tried their best to acknowledge the communities of hailing from their catchment areas that the problem was governmental and not a community issue. They will only resume their duties when their problem is solved.

Failure to do so, they will continue abstaining from their duties. Government need to direct questions to Dr. Makur M. Koriom to reverse and answer some questions to this condition for this is a critical thing involving lost of innocent lives that use to benefit from these health facilities, which deliver services across the nation.

You can reach the author via his email: Tahrir Brown <tahrirbrown@gmail.com>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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