NEBBI. The nurses in Nebbi have been urged not to strike despite the looming industrial action over the over 70 billion lunch allowance arrears.

Speaking during the Nurses and midwives’ day celebration at Nebbi district headquarters on Wednesday, Dr Jackline Akello, the medical superintendent Nebbi general hospital urged nurses and midwives to consider the lives they save every day as it is where their joy comes from by putting smiles on people’s faces.

“Even if we are given 10 million today, it will not cater for all our needs but if we lose somebody, the pain is massive because that person might also be our relative”, she said.

She noted that even if the strike is to go on, some people should remain on duty so that lives are not lost especially of mothers who come to deliver at the different health facilities.

Dr Justine Okwairwoth, the district health officer Nebbi, applauded the midwives and nurses for the reduction in maternal mortality which has dropped to 10 this financial year compared to 20 of the previous year and the district being ranked number two in the country for improved maternal care.

“If we decide to go on with the strike, this might affect our performance. We should work hard to maintain the status quo or even strive to be number one so that our mothers are safe”, he said.

He said they are aware that the nurses are committed to their work but are overwhelmed by a shortage of work force. He appealed to the government to consider increasing the staff ceiling to allow more midwives to be recruited.

However, Mr David Wabuno, the chief administrative officer Nebbi said engagements are on-going to have the government address the issue of staffing in the health department.

“It is taking long because of the issue of wage bill and the structural issues in the health department but I promise you that this will soon be history”, he added

Dr Jackline AMr David Wabuno, the Chief Administrative Officer Nebbi district.

Mr Robert Abak, the residence district commissioner commended the nurses for their good work and urged them to continue as the government is working hard to enhance their salaries.

Ms Jane Manano, a midwife in Nebbi general hospital said they love their jobs and that even if the strike is to go on, they would still be helping mothers to deliver as it’s their pride.