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Liberian nurses strike demanding Ebola safety equipment

STRIKE: Nurses from John F Kennedy hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, have gone on strike demanding Ebola safety equipment

IN THE midst of the Ebola epidemic, nurses at the John F Kennedy hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, have gone on strike demanding safety equipment when treating those with the deadly disease.

The BBC has reported that the nurses will not return to work until they are paid more and are given personal protective equipment (PPEs) to protect them from Ebola.

The deadly disease, which is spread through contact with contaminated body fluids like sweat and saliva, has killed over 700 people in Liberia since the beginning of the year.

There has been a total of 1,500 deaths in the four countries -Liberia, Sierra Leone, libya, Nigeria, and Senegal- that have been hit by the epidemic.

The size of the striking group is currently unknown, and it is not clear what emergency plans have been put in place.

The John F Kennedy Hospital has yet to make a statement on the events.

“We need proper equipment to work with [and] we need better pay because we are risking our lives,” said spokesman for the strikers John Tugbeh.

He continued: “From the beginning of the Ebola outbreak we have not had any protective equipment to work with. As a result, so many doctors got infected by the virus. We have to stay home until we get the PPEs”

The John F Kennedy hospital was closed temporarily in July as an unspecified number of heath workers were infected after treating those with the disease.

Back in July, Dr Sheik Umar Khan, 39, a leading doctor from Sierra Leone, who specialised in treating the virus, died after contracting Ebola himself. He had treated over 100 victims.

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