#COVID19: Gabonese Health Workers Move Against Mandatory Vaccination

In a bid to have more health workers in Gabon vaccinated, the health minister is trying to mandate COVID-19 vaccination.

Members of the Gabonese National Syndicate of Health Personnel and Assimilated Professionals, SYNAPSA, have rejected the contents of a service note from the Minister of Health, Dr Guy Patrick Obiang Ndong, telling leaders of hospitals in the country to convince/constrain the personnel in their services to have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19.

The association has called for an emergency general assembly to be held on Friday, Aug. 27, where it will launch a sensitisation campaign by its members against the instructions of the Minister of Health on compulsory vaccination of health personnel against COVID-19.

As a prelude to the emergency general assembly meeting, SYNAPSA has in a statement condemned what it described as “a dangerous decision” by the health minister and also “seriously condemned the denial of the individual liberties” of the health personnel.

“The government has always affirmed that vaccination against the Covid-19 is voluntary and has always communicated on the category of persons who are excluded from this operation. What now explains this reversal when we know that there are personnel who have health antecedents? SYNAPSA is thus surprised by this imposition which is in complete and flagrant violation of the international pact on political and civil rights which stipulates that no treatment can be administered on a person without his/her consent,” declared a senior official of SYNAPSA.

During the SYNAPSA emergency general assembly, the syndicate would give the guidelines to be followed by its adherents and announce the putting in place of “a chronogram of actions to be undertaken on the ground to say ‘no’ to the imposition of the vaccination on health personnel.”

“Vaccination has to be voluntary. It must not be the object of any constraint,” the SYNAPSA official declared.

The Minister has instructed that all personnel in university teaching hospitals, regional hospital centers, blood transfusion centers as well as cooperation hospitals must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 “within the shortest possible time.”

He has attached a high price on the leaders of health institutions sensitising their personnel on the “imperial necessity” for his instructions to be carried out “as utmost priorities.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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