Updated 1:24 p.m. ET
Liberian health care workers largely ignored a call to strike Monday, despite claims that an estimated 80% of them are being forced to go without adequate supplies to fight the Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 4,000 lives in west Africa.
The government had asked health care workers to be reasonable, arguing a strike would have negative consequences on the containment of the outbreak, BBC reports. Liberia’s National Health Workers Association had called the strike demanding an increase in hazard pay
Liberia is one of countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak, with 3,924 cases of the more than 8,000 total. Thousands of health care workers were due to stop treating patients as part of the strike, Reuters reports. But most medical staff continued continued caring for the sick Monday.
“There needs to be a proper coordination of what is being donated by the international community,” George Williams, the Liberia Health Workers Association secretary-general told Bloomberg. “We’re hearing about millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money being donated and we appreciate every cent. But we need to see it at the health facilities.”
Despite the fact that the most health care workers continued to treat patients, the workers association said they don’t have enough equipment to protect themselves and that the government is not meeting their needs. Ebola health care workers are dying faster than their patients.