Some Government Doctors, Nurses in Zimbabwe Return to Work on Humanitarian Grounds, Still Demand Higher Wages
January 4, 2008
Some government-employed doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe have returned to work on humanitarian grounds, but most are still on a strike that began last week and are demanding higher wages, Reuters reports (Banya, Reuters, 1/3). Thousands of health workers in the country also are leaving to find better-paying jobs in Australia, Britain or South Africa, which is further affecting the country's HIV/AIDS situation and drug shortages (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/2).
The country's efforts to increase access to antiretroviral drugs have been delayed by a shortage of foreign currency, which has increased poverty levels and raised inflation by 3,700%. More than 3,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses weekly in the country, and 70% of hospital admissions in Zimbabwe are HIV/AIDS-related. According to the World Health Organization, 321,000 people in the country are in need of antiretrovirals, but only 91,000 people have access to the drugs. In addition, only about 6% of children in need of HIV/AIDS treatment are receiving it. About 24% of people in the country in need of antiretrovirals receive them, compared with an average of 28% across sub-Saharan Africa (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/2).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.