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Protesting Health Workers in Margibi County Asked to Stay Home amid Salary Dilemma

Kakata, Margibi County – Aggrieved health workers of the C.H Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County, who recently staged a protest in demand of salaries, have been ordered to stay home as the administration arranged two months of their delayed salary.


Report By: Kosian Bolo in Margibi County & Arthur Kowah, arthurkowah1992@gmail.com


It is unclear when the workers will return to work or their remaining salaries will be paid. The mandate comes after the health workers held talks with the director of the hospital and the county health officer about the way forward on Thursday in Kakata, according to Mr. Mayango Jallah, spokesperson for the workers.

“The director and the current county health officer have talked to us and said that we are volunteers. So they’ve made a decision that we should stay home, they will pay us 2 months and we should waive the rest and when the government gets ready for us, they will call us back,” he told LocalVoicesLiberia via phone on Thursday.

Jallah said although the authority have classified them [aggrieved health workers] as volunteers, not every one of the aggrieved workers are volunteers.

“I have my letter of application. I applied to my office and was assigned. My assignment letter is in my hand and my personnel form,” Jallah said of his employment status with the hospital.

These 38 aggrieved health workers, who are nurses, dispensers, lab technicians, cleaners and other clinical staff, claimed they have been working in major departments of the hospital, but have not received salary for 29 months.

The health workers also outlined several challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t know if the government has supplied this hospital, but this nose mask I’m using, I myself bought it. Patients sometimes can improvise and then we look after them,” Jallah said.

“So I want to see betterment. I want to see materials to work with. I want materials like gloves, tide soap, PPEs, face shields, and surgical gowns to be at the facility to make the work easier.”

They staged a protest on July 19, claiming that the hospital administration owes them a total sum of US$57,000 for the period they have worked.

“This is not compensation, this is our salary and benefit,” Jallah said on the day of the protest. “We are about 38, but 34 persons are on ground here today [for the protest]”.

The day long protest by the health workers working in major departments of the county’s major hospital disrupted health services on that day.


During the protest, the aggrieved health workers were seen carrying placards with inscriptions calling for their salaries to be paid.


The administrator of the Hospital and the County Superintendent pleaded with the health workers during the protest, assuring that they would be paid three months.

Superintendent Jerry Varney, who had gone to calm the tension during the protest, assured that his office would work with the administration of the hospital to ensure that the concerns of the aggrieved health workers are addressed.

“We will be paying them three months and right after the July 26 celebration, the remaining months will be calculated, and we’ll have a payment plan that will be documented so that the both parties will be able to live up to their side of the commitment,” he said.

“This is not good for our people. You have patients lying down inside there. And you have physician assistants here that can’t go in there to attend to them because the protesters blocked the door”.

Superintendent Varney said the issue of the protest at C.H. Rennie Hospital is not squarely the fault of the hospital’s administration as “every sector of government is challenged”.

“This is not good for our people. You have patients lying down inside there. And you have physician assistants here that can’t go in there to attend to them because the protesters blocked the door”.

Superintendent Varney said the issue of the protest at C.H. Rennie Hospital is not squarely the fault of the hospital’s administration as “every sector of government is challenged”.

But Jallah warned that any promise made by the local authority must be fulfilled.

“If we do not receive it [three month salary], you people [journalists] will come here again for the same thing [protest],” he told reporters after hearing from the local authorities including the county superintendent.

C.H. Rennie hospital was one of the health facilities hardest hit during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014 with 14 health workers reported dead, according to data published by the World Bank.

With cases of COVID-19 now increasing in the country as Margibi County accounts for the second highest number of confirmed cases with 256, the protest by the health workers is creating some concern in the country.

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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