Covid-19: Environmental Health Officials lay down tools over lack of Protective Equipment, non-payment of allowances

By Nathaniel Nartey.

The Environmental Health Officers Alliance, Ghana, is on a sit-down strike, as a means to draw the government’s attention to what they describe as critical concerns emanating from their work.

The group made up of Environmental Health Officers, responsible for the burial of all infectious corpses, including covid-19 bodies, say they have not received any Protective Equipment from the government since the first case of coronavirus was recorded in March 2020.

They also complain of not receiving any allowances due them as frontline workers.

The National President of the Environmental Health Officers Alliance, Yaw Akwaa Lartey, told GBC’s Nathaniel Nartey that the strike, which began on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, will be in force until their concerns are resolved.

“Any corpse or animal is disposed of in a sanitary manner, we are professionals, who are supposed and mandated to bury such infectious disease, have been side-lined, out of PPE, Protective Equipment and other logistics for effective burial,” Mr. Lartey said.

“When the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, made the call that Ghana had recorded its first case of Covid-19, we the Environmental Health workers, mobilised ourselves to combat the disease, but I as I speak now, my brother, we have not taken delivery of any PPE, because we are under the Assemblies, so the Ministry of Health knows only their staff.’’

Mr. Lartey said Environmental Health Workers have been neglected by the government since they were moved from the Ministry of Health to the Local Government Ministry in 1995. He has, however, appealed to the government to move them back to the Ministry of Health.

“We have done a lot of letter writing, even on our allowances, only about 1% was paid,’’ according to the National President of the Environmental Health Officers Alliance.

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