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Doctors, druggists go on strike in Jalalabad

Doctors, druggists go on strike in Jalalabad

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On
Sep 18, 2017 - 21:55

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Doctors and druggists have gone on strike in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province to protest what they said increasing incidents of armed robberies, targeted killings and other insecurities.

The striking doctors and pharmaceutical shops owners held two separate protest meetings and warned of continuing their strike until their concerns were addressed.

They said armed robbers daily threaten to kidnap them or their family members and even place bombs to their homes and clinics, but security forces were doing nothing.

Children ward head at Jalalabad civil hospital, Dr. Wahidullah Habibi, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they went on strike against the increasing insecurity in Nangarhar.

He said mostly doctors and other health workers were targeted. “From the governor to the police chief, government officials have failed to provide security to people.”

Another striking doctor, Habibullah Mulvizada said doctors were servants of humanity and the government should protect them.

He said the situation in Jalalabad had worsened as robberies, blasts and kidnappings took place in every street of the city.

The doctors said they would only attend emergency patients for the next two days and would stop attending them as well after the deadline if their demands were ignored.

Pharmacy shops owners also joined the doctors in the protest against increasing insecurity in the provincial capital.

The chemists held a protest meeting at a medical plaza and announced their strike. Chemists’ Union head Dr. Najibullah Sahibzada said the security situation in Nangarhar had long been precarious but doctors and other health sector workers were lately targeted.

He said they had shared their problems with the provincial officials who had expressed their inability and therefore they wanted President Ashraf Ghani to send a high level authorized delegation to Nangarhar.

He said they would no more talk to provincial officials about their concerns and would continue their strike until a powerful delegation arrived from Kabul.

However, Nangarhar police chief Brig. Gen. Abul Rahman Rahimi said measures had been taken to curtail insecurity but more was needed to be done.

He told a press conference here that police had freshly detained two persons who planted landmines in return for money and an alleged armed robber.

The police chief admitted some weaknesses but said all available resources were being used to maintain security in the province.

Afghanistan Labor Union head Dr. Mohammad Liaqat Adil said the demand of doctors and chemists was genuine, but their strike was illegal.

He said the doctors should have informed people in advance about their strike because many people who arrived in the city from villages waited in vain.

Recently local traders called off their boycott of customs clearance following mediation of the provincial government and promises.

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