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05 Jan 2019 | 10:48 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Teachers and nurses join doctor strike January 3 /update 2

Education and nurses’ unions announce on January 3 they will join the ongoing doctors’ strike; disruptions to health services expected

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ZWE

Event

Representatives of several education and nursing unions released a statement on Thursday, January 3, announcing that teachers and nurses would join the ongoing doctors’ strike. The unions said that they are joining the doctors in a move of solidarity and are calling for the government to pay their salaries in US dollars, along with the immediate payment of outstanding bonuses. On Friday, January 4, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) denied reports from state media claiming the strike had ended. Medical staff met with First Lady Auxilla Mnangagwa, but the ZHDA said that no agreement was reached. Associated protests by medical workers and teachers are possible in the coming days and weeks if the strike continues. Disruptions to medical services, including in Harare, are also expected to continue for the duration of the strike.

Context

The ZHDA launched the strike on December 1, claiming that low salaries, a lack of basic health material in state hospitals, and increasing fuel costs have severely hindered their ability to provide adequate services. Junior doctors and nurses went on strike in early 2018 over similar concerns, causing significant disruptions to medical services across the country.

Advice

Individuals present in Zimbabwe, including in Harare, are advised to confirm doctor's appointments, to anticipate longer waiting times in medical facilities for the duration of the strike, and to avoid any potential protests.

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