By Philip Wafula
The discharge of the first COVID-19 patient from Jinja hospital has been overshadowed by strike by over 40 health workers demanding non-payment of their Shs95,000 daily allowance since March 23.
As has been the norm countrywide, whenever a COVID-19 patient recovers and is being discharged, frontline health workers celebrate the milestone by dancing to songs of praise.
However, the health workers, who have been treating suspected COVID-19 cases and patients decided to lay down their tools while another COVID-19 patient was being wheeled into the facility.
Robert Gatama, an in-charge of the isolation unit says they are each entitled to a risk allowance of Shs80,000 and refreshment allowance of Shs15,000 per day as stipulated in the guidelines and circulars sent by the Ministry of Health, but they have not received a single coin since March 23.
Muhammad Were, the hospital administrator has now urged the workers to get back to work after they were reportedly given a partial payment of Shs60,000 each.
Were says the health workers’ concerns had been addressed in a crisis meeting that was also attended by the Police and District Security Officer.