Ambassador J. Adolphus During has termed Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale’s action not to reinstate the two leaders of the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL) as defiant, following earlier interventions by the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and others.
Dr. During is the founder and director of the Liberia Institute for Diplomacy and Etiquette.
He spoke on Wednesday at ELWA-2 Ebola treatment unit (ETU), where his church, Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ, donated assorted items.
“It is also worrisome to the Liberian people at this time of the deadly Ebola epidemic where thousands of citizens have lost their lives. I am calling on the Minister to see reason and reinstate them immediately,” Amb. During advised.
He noted that Minister Gwenigale’s action is not only worrisome but also adamant to the Legislature and the Council of Churches, who in the past had intervened for the reinstatement of the health workers’ leaders.
Dr. During maintained that when the Church recommends that striking workers be reinstated, he “considers it as the highest body representing God, and such recommendation must not be thrashed”.
On Monday, during the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing, Min. Gwenigale told Liberians and health workers who were on strike in order for their leaders to be re-instated that the two men are “never coming back to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,” so those health workers should better just stay home forever.
NHWAL’s leaders, Mssrs. Joseph Tamba, president and George Poe Williams, secretary and spokesperson, have since been dismissed by the Health Minister after both men called for a nationwide health strike in demand for salary increments and insurance benefits from government last February.
“We need every meaningful church leader under the Liberia Council of Churches and other institutions to make sure that these health workers are reinstated immediately,” Dr. During said. “I don’t know whether he (Minister Gwenigale) has a training center to manufacture health workers at this critical time when he is refusing to reinstate trained health workers,” Dr. During wondered.
Dr. During’s church donated sacs of water, cartons of juices, including Xtra and Lucozade, valued at US$1,500. “All of these were brought in by the church members, Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ’s administrator Whiegbadeh James said during the presentation.
Mr. James said they were following the footsteps of Jesus who preached, healed the sick and fed the hungry.