Uror medics demand six-month salary dues

Uror medics demand six-month salary dues
The map of South Sudan highlighting Jonglei State (photo credit: Wikiwand)

The medical workers in Uror County are demanding their six months’ unpaid salaries.

Speaking to The City Review yesterday, Uror County Health Director, Mark Mayul Riek, said the unpaid wages had wreaked havoc that led to the sacking of two medical workers for allegedly selling drugs meant for public health units.

He said there have been shortages of drugs in the whole county, adding they have been experiencing a similar problem for the last year.

Riek said it was only the ICRC that has been supplying drugs to the county.

“In Uror County, we have an issue of salaries in which the Nile Hope, which is the supporting agency, did not pay from June up to now. Nile Hope says that UNICEF did not receive the money from World Bank,” he said.

He said that such challenges were because the implementing partner, Nile Hope, did not have good supervision of its staff.

“It is a big challenge staff are facing now in Uror County. Even some of them were sacked because they tried to steal a few drugs to sell outside to sustain the lives of their families.”

Riek stated that he had come to Juba to find out from UNICEF and Nile Hope why they had delayed the salaries.

He said he had realised that UNICEF had not received the money from the World Bank. He stressed that there was a great challenge with the provision of health services in Uror due to floods and sometimes insecurity.

“There is no good drug supply Uror and no good update from the implementing agency. About 7 Payams of Uror County are out of health coverage. Only two payams are supported and ICRC is providing little help supporting and some health facilities are supported by UNICEF,” he explained.

He said most of the patients are suffering from chronic illnesses that have been worsened by the flood situation. He added fear mounted that resistance to sicknesses would increase during the dry season sick.

Appeal for help

Riek called on UNICEF to cooperate with the Ministry of Health for the provision of quality health services in the unreachable payams of Uror County.

Riek called on the Ministry of Health in the state to settle the issue of a delayed payment of salaries.

He said the communication channels between the national and state ministries of health needs to be improved to ensure timely supply of drugs to the grassroots.

He urged the implementing partners to periodically report the conditions facing the people to higher authorities.

No discrimination in payments

On Tuesday, the Jonglei State Minister of Health, Atong Kuol Manyang, confirmed that 227 Bor Hospital staff who had been under a series of strikes for two months were paid incentives by UNICEF through Eco Bank.

Atong appreciated UNICEF for the swift response, which came days before the promised date of payment.

“Great efforts [from you] UNICEF for completing the payment of the above-mentioned staff through Eco Bank before the November 26 deadline that you had promised,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“And also for timely payment of incentives for Bor South, Twic East, and Duk Counties Health Departments. [Paying] the November salary is still being discussed by the State Ministry of Health with UNICEF. “

The state health ministry responded to questions raised by county health workers about delayed incentives by saying that the ministry was working to make sure that the situation was salvageable.

She said that the ministry had adopted modalities to make sure that all the counties were paid without discrimination.

 “I would like to address a general concern by those who are inquiring why the issue of the former defunct Jonglei was addressed and not the rest. For your information, the Jonglei State Ministry of Health is for the whole state and is responsible for all its counties, ” Atong explained.

“Therefore, it will ensure that no county is neglected or left out. The ministry, together with UNICEF, is exerting more efforts to ensure that not only are all incentives paid but [this] has to be done regularly.”