‘We Are Innocent’: Redemption Health Workers Speak Out

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Redemption Hospital, which has been operating and treating sick patients despite the Ebola outbreak, has decided to keep its doors closed until its appeal for a better hospital condition can be heard.

Though the TB/HIV/AIDS Unit has been giving patients temporary treatment until the functions of the hospital can go back to normal, community dwellers who greatly depend on Redemption Hospital are skeptical about it ever opening its doors again.

“This hospital is the only hospital my family and I come to. Now for the first time since the Ebola outbreak, their doors are locked,” stated Tenneh Kanneh. She arrived early morning to find the Mother and Child Section of Redemption closed.

The vice president of the Health Workers Association Rev. Samuel F. Faley Jr., who is also a dispenser at the TB/HIV/ AIDS Unit at Redemption Hospital says conditions there are grave.

Having been selected to speak for both the hospital and workers’ association, he says “workers fear losing their job if they speak out.”

According to Rev. Faley, the hospital has been facing steep challenges. He also believes that they will also face the same test if they open their doors.

“Because of fear, some of our staff are not coming to work. Just the other day, we were stoned by some angry community dwellers because of a pregnant woman who died. They said the patient didn't die from Ebola but that we're in a society where health workers are extracting kidneys and playing medicine. I am a God-fearing man, a pastor of a church and I know what the Bible says. We are not a part of it, we are innocent."

According to Rev. Farley, the Ebola outbreak has seriously affected health workers’ mentally, emotionally and physically.

 “It has affected us directly because five of our colleagues are dead and gone. Our friends that we once talked to and did things in common with are no more; we can't do that anymore. It has affected us directly because it is in Liberia our home, where we live. I would love to have good things happen in Liberia because it is my country, and have to do something about it to see it well,” he sadly added.

He also stated that the Government of Liberia should begin to see the brave sacrifices that health workers are making during the Ebola outbreak.

“Some health workers have worked here volunterly for over 10 years and still have not been employed or put on the payroll. We are being threatened everyday by people while some of our workers have stopped coming to work because of that,” he stressed.

Rev Faley used the occasion to ask for increment in their salary. He it should be increased to L$8,000.

The Redemption Hospital spokesperson also called on donors to reach out to the hospital and help with protective gears.

“There are so many things that we need to list a few. We need medical trays to dispense medicine, gloves, sanitizers and sponges to check tablets. Medicine needs to be stored at a certain tempature and we need air conditioner.”

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