AFRICA/IVORY COAST - Strike in the health sector: a constructive dialogue is urgently needed

Thursday, 15 November 2018 human rights   development   healthcare   civil society   politics  

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - There is chaos in the Ivorian health sector: a protest by health workers has been under way since Monday, November 5. Nurses, midwives, medical technicians, health administrators, carers, are on strike against the precarious health conditions that limit the access of many citizens to medical care. The country finds itself in a situation of serious tension and the population is currently entitled to minimum assistance in public hospitals. "The Ivorian government is not establishing a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the medical staff on strike. While health workers demand adequate and dignified professional conditions, the government responds with violence by systematically arresting the demonstrators", says Father Donald Zagore, an Ivorian priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA) to Fides. "The only consequence of this unfortunate situation remains the suffering of the people. How many people will lose their lives because of this strike, given the lack of health services?", asks the priest.
Fr. Zagore concludes: "Health is life, and for this reason no one has any right to endanger the life of another person. Constructive dialogue is urgently needed in order to bring the people out of this dramatic impasse. Otherwise we cannot build anything in today's world. The language of violence leads nowhere. The field of health is of utmost importance and requires enormous sacrifices on both sides, government and health workers. People's lives must remain the key priority for both the government and health workers". (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 11/15/2018)