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Environmental Health practitioners within the Cape Coast Metropolis have threatened to boycott the burial of persons who succumb to COVID-19, if they do not receive benefits due them as frontline health workers.
While underscoring the importance of their role in the fight against COVID-19, the group has lamented its exclusion from the government’s incentives such as the insurance package, tax exemptions, amongst others which were announced by President Akufo-Addo at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana in 2020.
The Cape Coast Metropolitan Environmental Health Officer, Idris Shani in a Citi News interview said they want to draw the attention of the president to their role and appeal to him to consider them.
He expressed optimism that they would receive a favourable response to their grievances to prevent the officers from boycotting COVID-19 burial exercises.
“All the packages that the president announced with respect to the fight against this pandemic did not include us. It is something that we have spoken about, trying to get their attention of the authorities [but nothing so far]. During the last burial exercise I did, my officers threatened to boycott the exercise. I would like to appeal to the presidency and all those in authority that in the spirit of fairness, our people should also benefit [from the packages]. If they don’t, they [officers] are giving indications that they will stop burying the bodies and that will not be good for us,” he said.
Environmental Health practitioners often working with local assemblies have been largely coordinating or undertaking the burial of persons who die from COVID-19.
They have said in the past that their work puts them on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 hence deserve to be given some additional work benefits as other health workers on the frontline.