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Sierra Leone's health strike ends
afrol News, 29 March - The almost two weeks strike by Sierra Leone's health workers ended yesterday after government made an offer to double salaries of the striking workforce.
According to media reports, the deal was sealed after intervention talks with President Ernest Bai Koroma, made Saturday night. The new salaries were also said to be retrospective from 1 March.
Health workers in Sierra Leone were getting paid an average of US$ 100 per month, which under the new deal would be doubled for general workers and even go up to six times for medical doctors.
The deal will also see the government setting up a commission to look into the general working conditions of the health sectors.
The agreement comes following an earlier statement by government which had threatened that all striking workers will be fired by today if they had not reported back to work.
Government had also blamed the striking workers for a number of deaths that happened during the striking days, threatening to charge those in charge of organising the strike.
Sierra Leone is one of the West African countries with a very poor health sector status and systems, mainly due to the decade-long civil war that ended in 2001. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that there is less than one physician per 10,000 inhabitants in the country.
By staff writer
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