Members of the Gabonese National Syndicate of Health Personnel (SYNAPSA) have threatened to embark on strike on Dec. 27, 2021 if the current anti-coronavirus measures put in place by the government are not lifted.
The measures cited as “most vexatious” by the health personnel include the obligation to present COVID-19 vaccination cards and PCR test results before being allowed access into public places.
These measures are expected to go into force with effect from Wednesday, Dec. 15 and also include new tariffs of 20,000 FCFA (about 40 US dollars) and 50,000 FCFA (about 100 US dollars) for normal and VIP PCR tests.
“Confusion! Blackmail! Bullying,” some medical staff in a government hospital in the capital Libreville could be heard shouting on Tuesday morning as they arrived for work.
“We will go to our places of work as usual. Now, if the heads of the health structures chase us away because we have not been vaccinated or because we have no PCR test results, we shall take note so that tomorrow it would not be said that this or that doctor did not report to work on his own volition,” Mickala Moundanga, a senior doctor said.
In an official declaration, Gustave Boukoumou Igassela, President of SYNAPSA, said: “By these measures, the government violates the physical integrity of the populations as well as Article 7 of the international pact on civil and political rights.”
“Thus, SYNAPSA vigorously condemns the sacrificial approach adopted by the government under the fallacious pretext of protecting Gabonese with the vaccines which have proved their limits in other places and which confer no protection on vaccinated persons.”
“SYNAPSA has thus announced a general strike beginning December 27, 2021 and denounced the “non-respect of the preoccupations of workers” by the Prime Minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda who had in November received their advance notice for the strike.”
The strike will also be for the regularisation of all administrative situations of the SYNAPSA members and the opening of schools for the training of health personnel.
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