-Suspended Health Workers Breath Cool Air Again After Reinstatement
By Esau J. Farr
The President of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NAHWAL) has expressed joy over his reinstatement along with his Secretary General, George Poe Williams by President George M. Weah.
Mr. Joseph S. Tamba said he was grateful to God first and the administration of President George M. Weah for his reinstatement along with the Secretary General of NAHWAL, Mr. Williams.
He made the disclosure to this paper in an exclusive interview Monday August 20, 2018 at his 12th Street Office in Sinkor, Monrovia.
Joseph S. Tamba and George Poe Williams were indefinitely suspended by Health authorities in Liberia during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for organizing a strike action in demand of salary increment and better incentives for health workers in Liberia in July 2013.
The workers’ strike reportedly led to deaths and health complications of patients across the country. The go-slow actions angered health authorities in the country at the time and immediately suspended 22 health workers including NAHWAL’s President and Secretary General Joseph S. Tamba and George Poe Williams respectively.
But after several calls for the re-instatement of the suspended health workers, the Ministry of Health reinstated 20 of the suspended health workers leaving Joseph S. Tamba and George Poe Williams in the cold for serving as the main ‘range leaders’ of the strike actions.
In 2014, the plights of the suspended health workers at the time were ignored on countless occasions and events including the present of Health Ministers of West Africa during the “All Health Ministers of West Africa Conference” at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville after the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The ignoring of the protest staged by the West African Health Ministers was reportedly influenced by former Health Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale and Grand Kru County Senator, Dr. Peter S. Coleman on the alleged order of former President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
To add insult to injury, a national stakeholders dialogue with health workers in Liberia was held at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor to hear the plights and concerns of healthcare providers in the country at the time during which former President Sirleaf again deliberately refused to address the concerns of the health workers especially the counts that had to do with the reinstatement of Mr. Tamba and Williams and the increment of salary and incentives amongst five other counts.
During the meeting, segments of health workers of Liberia divided into four jointly agreed that the ‘Suspended Secretary General’ of NAHWAL speaks on behalf of all health workers something that lighted the hall amid cheers from health workers while Madam Sirleaf and her confidants on the high table at the time were wearing frowns on their faces as they were frustrated to have seen their ‘Enemy’ given huge support to push the issues health workers to health authorities and the Liberian leader.
When Madam Sirleaf took on to the podium to address the concerns of the health workers, she told the healthcare providers present at the meeting that there is a simple Liberian Parable that says “When the soup is hot, you can’t leave it hot and drink it,” meaning, the time was not ripe since there was still heat from the association pressurizing the Executive Branch of government to listen and address their concerns especially the issues of salary increment and the re-instatement of their suspended leaders.
According to Mr. Tamba, the Government of Liberia earlier on promised to add one hundred (US$100) United States Dollars to their pay at the time, but the increment was never felt as not one of the members benefited said increment, but still served the country since they took oath to save lives.
During the interview, Mr. Tamba described President George Weah as a good leader because according to him (Tamba) he (Weah) listens to the cries and concerns of the people he leads.
“When President Weah took over, he received a communication from Dr. Francis Keteh, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia calling on him to re-instate my Secretary and I and with immediate effect, he (Weah) re-instated us and the same month (March 2018) we started to receive our pay in our respective accounts,” Mr. Tamba told this paper in a rejuvenated spirit and smile to match.
“Presently, I am assigned at the Bonjar Clinic near Hotel Africa while my Secretary General, George Poe Williams, is assigned at the Louisiana Community Clinic all in Montserrado County,” he added.
Mr. Tamba was full of praises for President Weah and two of his cabinet members, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah of the Ministry of Health and Education Minister Dr. Ansu Sonii as people who are ‘down to Earth’ to the extent that they refer to their subordinates as colleagues and comrades.
The NAHWAL President believes that President Weah is a fulfillment of a reported prophesy made by late Liberian prophetess, Rev. Mother Dukuly.
According to Mother Dukuly’s prophesy, there was going to be a female President after now jailed former Liberian President, Charles G. Taylor and that the economy of the country (Liberia) was going to be poor while its citizens suffer, but after that, a man was going to be elected who would improve the economy of Liberia and develops the country while life becomes enjoyable to the extent that any Liberian asked to leave the country will refuse to do so.
He used the opportunity and urged Liberians to be patient and wait for the prosperity that lies ahead of the future of their country saying, “Anything that starts bad must have a good end,”.
In another prophesy that is currently being published in the Insight Newspaper, the late Catholic Archbishop, Rt. Rev. Michael Kpakala Francis is quoted as carrying greetings to persists and bishops of the Catholic Church in the Vatican at St. Petersburg in 1999 informing them at the same forum that Liberia was better under the regime of Charles Taylor and will even be better under a woman that will take over from former President Taylor.
He continued that there will come after that female President a leader whom the youths, many of them uneducated, will love and hail him and that the -economy of Liberia will crumble amidst economic hardship, but in it all, the youths and supporters of the man will still hail him even when he goes wrong and they will say “All Hail The King,”.
If these prophesies are anything the public should believe in, the public will have to judge for themselves and live with their consciences as one song writer says, don’t say negative things about yourself, but always the positive things about your life because as a man thinketh, so is he and that the Holy Bible says “Life and death lie in the power of the tongue…,”.