Ghana News

COVID-19 burial team members lament government’s unwillingness to address their concerns

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Environmental Health Officers in the Eastern Region responsible for the burial of persons who die from COVID-19 have described as unfortunate, the government’s silence over their concerns.

The health officials on August 18, 2021, suspended their activities over the government’s failure to supply them with Personal Protective Equipment and finalize their insurance packages, among other demands.

In an interview with Citi News, the President of the Environmental Health Alliance Ghana, Yaw Akwaa Lartey, said the workers will resume the burial activities once their concerns are addressed.

“There is an issue with PPE. We can say that they have paid about 98% of the tax waivers. But for the 50% allowance for the burial team, not all districts have received it, although about 100 districts have recorded deaths. With the insurance packages, the doctors and nurses have signed them, but we have not signed them. We have been fighting for such packages. That is why we have suspended those activities; it looks as if we are risking our lives in carrying out this national assignment.”

The Environmental Health Officers Alliance – Ghana, suspended its involvement in the burial of COVID-19 patients who died on August 20, 2021.

The alliance, which is made up of all environmental health officers in all 260 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies in the country, has been complaining about inadequate critical logistics.

The officers, who are responsible for burying persons who die from COVID-19, insist they have not been provided with a congenial environment to work.

In the past, the group had noted a lack of computers for data collection, a lack of vehicles, and limited personal protection equipment as some of their major challenges.

Health Officials have already complained about the impact of the strike, as morgues in the region are said to be running out of space to accommodate any more COVID-19 corpses.

But the association has warned that it will not tolerate any victimization because of the strike.

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