Sierra Leone will stop paying the 'risk allowances' it has been paying to thousands of healthcare workers on the front line of its battle with Ebola. The coordinator of the government's response to the outbreak, Steven Gaojia said, "The payments of up to 500,000 leones ($118, 102 euros) a week on top of regular salaries would finish by the end of March."
This move comes with Sierra Leone seeing a decrease in new Ebola cases across most of its territory. World Health Organization's (WHO) officials registered 117 cases last week against 184 the week before.
It is estimated that 26,000 healthcare workers are involved in the fight against Ebola, with 221 having died after catching the deadly virus. The WHO said, "The incidence of health worker infections has fallen in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The risk payments have represented a lucrative sideline for the workers in Sierra Leone, one of the world's poorest countries where the vast majority earn less than a dollar a day."
The withdrawal of the incentive has not generally been greeted negatively since it was always viewed as a temporary measure and many health workers see it as a symbol that the worst of the epidemic is over.