The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance has paid the sum of SLL 6 billion to over 8000 COVID-19 health care workers as their weekly cash risk allowance.
The payment was made a few days after health care workers threatened to go on strike for not receiving their weekly cash risk allowance for over 8 weeks, which was promised by the government.
In April this year, the government of Sierra Leone represented by the Ministry of Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with representatives of Health care workers, establishing a compensation and incentive package for the COVID-19 response in Sierra Leone.
The payment made by the government is for health care workers at the treatment centers, isolation centers, laboratories, and those in quarantine homes or centers.
The Ministry of Finance is also working in collaboration with the National Insurance Company (NIC) to conclude arrangements on a life insurance policy for health care workers that either became infected with COVID-19 or die in the process while combating and treating infected persons with COVID-19.
The policy will also provide tuition fees and other educational support for a maximum of 3 children for all health care workers who lost their lives during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, this support in the form of a scholarship will cover each child’s fees from the primary level running to the end of his/her tertiary education (university).
Finally, the government assures the health workers that all other required incentives will be provided in order to facilitate their efforts and activities in fighting COVID-19 in Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association has in a press statement released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, expressed dissatisfaction over a press release by the Ministry of Finance, which claims that all COVID-19 frontline health care workers have been paid their weekly hazard incentives that were owed for over 8 weeks.
So as it is, the association has called on the authorities to settle the situation within 48 hours, or else they threatened to cause major massive disruption in the health care services of the country.