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Nurses join Doctors’ strike over anomalies in Zimbabwe health sector.

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The Zimbabwe Nurses Association says nurses and support staff have resolved to join the strike by doctors because the Health Services Board and the Health ministry have not taken any action towards resolving their grievances.

Doctors at public hospitals across Zimbabwe have been on strike since March 1 and will not return to work until the government meets their demands for better pay and working conditions, a spokesman for a doctors’ unions said on Tuesday.

The action is the first major labour dispute under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced Robert Mugabe in November and whose biggest challenge is fixing Zimbabwe’s economy ruined by decades of severe mismanagement.

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Cash shortages mean banks are forced to limit withdrawals, unemployment remains above 80 percent and the government still struggles to pay workers on time which prompted frequent public sector strike actions under Mugabe.

“The main issue we have raised currently is that it does not make sense for us to continue working in hospitals that do not have any drugs or sufficient equipment,” said Mxolisi Ngwenya, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), which represents more than 1,000 members.

Junior doctors in Harare went on strike on March 1. As of Monday the labour action had spread to include all public hospitals in the country, Ngwenya said.

The government had not, as agreed four years ago, increased on-call allowances for doctors to $10 an hour from the current $1.50, and has failed to fulfil other promises for better compensation and working conditions, Ngwenya said.

Junior doctors, who earn a basic monthly salary of $329 before allowances, according to Ngwenya, were yet to get duty-free vehicles as agreed previously.

In neighbouring South Africa, which attracts the most skilled labour from Zimbabwe, including health workers, junior doctors on internship earned the equivalent of $2,834 last year, according to Business Day newspaper.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said the government was resolving some of the grievances by the doctors and urged them to return to work while waiting for the outcome of a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

In the past, the government has deployed army medics to work at major public hospitals when junior doctors went on strike.

At Parirenyatwa, the largest public hospital in the capital, Reuters witnessed hospital staff turning away some patients.

A nurse who only identified herself as Eunice said they were overwhelmed without the junior doctors.

“I was told to go to a (council) clinic because they don’t consider my condition an emergency,” said Langton Sithole, 39, who said he fractured his arm when he fell from a bicycle.

Most senior doctors run private practices.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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– Vanguard

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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