Parts of Paynesville came to a standstill on Monday, 23 September when pregnant women on the Du-port Road blocked the back road leading to Redlight and ELWA in demand of medical treatment at health facilities here.
The protest by the pregnant women came Monday as the National Health Workers Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) commenced its nationwide strike by laying down tools at public health facilities across the country in demand of payment of their salaries, increment of salaries and support to the health sector, among others.As announced last week, public health workers across the country could not attend to pregnant women and other patients as of Monday, as part of their protest after talks with government negotiators failed to yield result to call off the protest.
Our reporter who covered the protest in Paynesville says patients at the Duport Road Health Center and other parts of the country were abandoned by health workers in demand of months of salaries owed by government.Pregnant women, men, and children were seen lying in the street in front of the Du-port Road Health Center compound.
According to protesters comprising patients and pregnant women, their action to protest is to claim the attention of government on the need to talk with health workers to return to work.Residents of Paynesville and its environs as well as commuters using the ELWA and Du-port Road routes faced serious embarrassment Monday, as protesters hindered the free flow of traffic.
Transportation fares between Du-port Road and Redlight increased drastically within few hours.
“This government we put in power wants us to die. I don’t know if we all die now who they will rule?” a pregnant woman identified as HawaDukuly who lied on the road said in an interview with some journalists.
“So we are not going to die secretly for our families to take the suffering, we will lie right on this road until we die one by one [because] this [is] what the government wants to see happening. We will give birth to our babies right in the public for the whole world to see the kind of problem Liberians are facing in our country,” she adds.
Princess Moore, a resident of Soul Clinic Community told this paper that her son fell very ill on Sunday evening, 22 September and was later rushed at the Du-port Road Health Center after most of the small clinics around her community had refused to admit the boy.
But she laments that since Sunday night, her son’s health has not been attended to by any nurse or doctor.
“It is very painful for me to watch my son in this condition. Did I commit any crime to become Liberian citizen or I should just sit, cry and watch my son die right in my arm because our government refuses to pay health workers their salaries?” Ms. Moore laments further.
The lady warns that if anything happens to her son, she will not leave the road.Another protester, Moses Samuel Jallah who lied on the sidewalk, looking very weak as he explained to this paper how early on Monday nurses told him to leave the Du-port Road Health Center where he has been taking treatment for some time.
Jallah narrates that he has been suffering fromsugar sickness (diabetes), adding that the treatment has been helping him over the past time.
“Right now I don’t know what to do anymore, my eyes are turning because the dose I should have received this morning was not been administered, making [me] very weak to even wake up. I’m dying slowly, I’m dying slowly,” Jallah sobs. By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley