Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Docs strike again over Ebola care

Published:Wednesday | December 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Health workers wear protective gear before entering the house of a person suspected to have died of the Ebola virus in Port Loko Community situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone. - AP

FREETOWN, (AP):

Sierra Leone's junior doctors were on strike for a second day, yesterday, to demand better care for medical workers who catch Ebola, after a spate of recent deaths.

In neighbouring Liberia, the president urged her countrymen not to let down their guard against the disease, even as the infection rate stabilises there.

The current Ebola outbreak has infected more than 17,800 people, the vast majority in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Of those, around 6,300 have died. There are signs the outbreak is beginning to be controlled in Liberia and Guinea, but it continues to spread quickly in Sierra Leone, which now has recorded the highest number of infections.

Hundreds of health workers in all three countries have become infected, and Sierra Leone lost three doctors in two days in the past week. The deaths prompted a strike of the junior doctors' association that started on Monday. The doctors want assurances that they'll have access to life-saving equipment, like dialysis machines, if they become infected.

Dr Jeredine George, president of the association, said yesterday the government has promised that beds will be set aside for health workers at a treatment unit near the capital that can offer sophisticated care. But she said talks with government officials are continuing.