Ugandan gov’t appeals to nurses, midwives to call off planned strike

UGANDA’S Ministry of Health on Monday appealed to nurses and midwives to call off their planned strike scheduled to start on Tuesday.

According to the Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng, the government is working to address the demands of nurses and midwives for higher salaries, allowances, health coverage and better working conditions.

“We ask the nurses and midwives to call off the planned strike and continue to work normally as their concerns are already being handled by the government,’’ Aceng said.

In a Nov 30 circular to over 21,000 nurses and midwives, Paul Byenkya, general secretary of Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU), asked the union members to lay down their tools effective from Tuesday to protest over low pay, allowances and poor working conditions.

“Following UNMU’s submission to the government demanding the implementation of schemes of service for nursing and midwifery cadres, salary increment and allowances, the government has not responded.

“Therefore, the scheduled date for laying down tools still remains Tuesday,” Byenkya said.

The strike came barely two weeks after doctors on Nov. 25 halted a three-week strike following government commitment to increase salaries and improve working conditions in public hospitals by Dec. 15.

The nationwide nurses and midwives strike is expected to paralyse operations in public hospitals and health facilities.

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