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Ebola outbreak: Liberian medical staff on national strike over risk fee


Liberian nurses and medical assistants are on national strike, as the Ebola epidemic continues in the country.

The National Health Workers Association wants an increase in the monthly risk fee paid to those treating Ebola cases.

In the US, President Barack Obama has directed more steps to be taken to ensure high safety procedures when dealing with suspected Ebola patients.

A health worker treating an Ebola victim has herself caught the virus.

Liberia’s Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said a strike would have negative consequences on those suffering from Ebola and would adversely affect progress made so far in the fight against the disease.

The government says the scale of the epidemic means it now cannot afford the risk fee originally agreed.

Liberia’s National Health Workers Association wants an increase in the monthly risk fee paid to those treating Ebola cases

Liberia’s National Health Workers Association wants an increase in the monthly risk fee paid to those treating Ebola cases

The risk fee is currently less than $500 a month, on top of basic salaries of between $200 and $300. Staff is now seeking a risk fee of $700 a month.

The health workers also want personal protective equipment and insurance.

Ninety-five of their colleagues have so far died from Ebola. Liberia is one of the countries worst affected by the epidemic.

More than 4,000 people have so far died in the Ebola outbreak.

A new UN centre to co-ordinate the fight against the epidemic is being set up in Ghana.

Six months after the epidemic began in west Africa there are still only about a quarter of the treatment beds required to tackle it.

Food is now in short supply as markets are disrupted in some parts of the three countries worst affected: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

In Liberia, elections have been postponed because the gathering of people at polling stations would endanger lives.

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