Zimbabwe Health Care Workers End Strike After Reaching Deal With Government Over Pay
Doctors in Zimbabwe have ended a two-month strike after reaching a deal with the government over their wages, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said on Saturday, Reuters South Africa reports. Nurses and other health workers also participated in the strike, but they returned to work last month after reaching a separate agreement concerning wages (Reuters South Africa, 3/3). The doctors and nurses began protesting in late December 2006 for 8,000% wage increases. Some HIV/AIDS advocates earlier this year said that the strike would affect efforts to address the disease in Zimbabwe, including expanding access to antiretroviral drugs. The Zimbabwean government in January announced plans to increase the number of HIV-positive people who receive no-cost antiretrovirals. Dwen Mugurungi, national coordinator of Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis program, said that the government hopes to enroll about 160,000 people in its antiretroviral program by the end of this year. Currently, 50,000 out of an estimated 500,000 HIV-positive people in the country who need antiretrovirals are receiving them through the government (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/24). Kuda Nyamutukwa, president of the Hospital Doctors Association, confirmed that doctors in the country reached an agreement with the government but did not provide details about new wages (Reuters South Africa, 3/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.