The Trade Union Federation of the Ministry of Health supports the approach of its Minister, Professor Ahmad Ahmad. The latter has sent a letter to international donors in which he calls for urgent assistance to deal with the spread of Covid-19 in the country. Health care equipment and medicines, among others, are on the list of the most urgent needs. Although the minister was disavowed a few hours later by the Malagasy government, which said it was dismayed by the letter, the health-care unions stepped up to the plate at a press conference on Thursday 23 July.
For the medical personnel involved in the fight against Covid-19, the contents of the letter from the Minister of Health, Professor Ahmad Ahmad, correspond exactly to the reality on the ground. This appeal for international assistance is indispensable,” explains Jerisoa Ralibera, President of the Paramedical Union.
“It’s more than necessary because we’ve been struggling for four months but so far we haven’t been able to control the coronavirus. We’ve asked so many times to provide us with everything we need to ensure that the fight against Covid-19 is taken care of with serenity. There is a lack of equipment and a lack of motivation of health care personnel, and this is now confirmed by the ministry’s distress call letter. »
In his missive, the Minister describes “overwhelmed hospitals”, “some patients dying due to lack of access to care” and “contaminated health care workers”.
“The minister asked for materials, drugs, protective equipment and allowances for health care workers…and the government members proved him wrong. That is why we met. Our union platform supports this strategy. We know that he has done this in good faith, in order to be able to find the materials we are missing,” says Abel Ranaivoson, president of the union of civil servant doctors.
About 100 caregivers have been infected with the coronavirus and about 10 have died, according to union estimates. Since the government’s communiqué issued on Tuesday, which abruptly disavowed the health minister, the unease is palpable and the authorities have remained silent on this divergence of views within the executive branch.