The Ministry of Health has ordered  striking public health officers to return to work or risk punishment including suspension of their salaries.

Public health and environmental officers have been on strike over unpaid allowances despite the ministry’s earlier promise to settle the group’s allowances by the end of May 2022.

However, Muhammed Lamin Jaiteh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health said in a release: “we urge all striking members of the public and environmental health officers under the Ministry of Health to report back to work with immediate effects.

“To this end, all unit heads are hereby urged to write down the list of staff who failed to show up for work starting Wednesday 29th June 2022 at 8:00 am. 

“Thereafter, administrative actions will be taken against those who are deliberately absent from work including stoppage of their salary and other steps.”

According to Mr Jaiteh, despite all efforts made by the leadership of the Ministry of Health as explained by the latest engagement between the minister and the executive of the Association of the Public and Environmental Officers highlighted the concern and plight of the citizenry, the said executive went back making disrespectful statements against the authorities.

“We have also noticed that more members of the executive committee are not happy any time we are close to a solution in our discussion with them. 

“This goes further to imply that such members do not have the interest of the association or the country at heart,” he added.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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