Zim deaths increase as doctors, nurses 'intensify' strike

January 4, 2016, 11:30am

News24, photo: iStock

Harare – Zimbabwe's maternal and neo-natal mortality rate has increased since the beginning of the country's health workers' strike on January 1, a report said on Monday.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the workers are demanding payment of their December salaries.

A joint statement by health workers unions, the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA) and the Zimbabwe Nurses Association, revealed that they would return to work after their salaries have been paid.

The statement said at least 90% of nurses and 80% of doctors had heeded the call by their unions to press on with job action.

"It has also been noted that the cases of maternal and neo-natal mortality have also been on the increase since the first of January," the report quoted the statement as saying.

Meanwhile, a report by the state owned Herald newspaper on Friday claimed that state workers had agreed with government to postpone the strike after meeting with the reserve bank governor Dr John Mangudya, who pledged an immediate payment of government workers' salaries and bonuses.

The report also revealed that government was planning to invoke section 65 of the country’s constitution that prohibits essential services workers which include doctors, and nurses from striking.

The health workers have, however, vowed to intensify the strike as they would not be working for free.