ZIMBABWEAN nurses and junior doctors have forthwith withdrawn their services feeling their demands have not been met as the country battles with the global pandemic, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
By Kuda Pembere
Being the health workers who spend most of the time with the patients, nurses are demanding protective personal equipment(PPE) , a COVID-19 risk allowance as well as water supplies at places of work.
Following our letter that was presented to our employer 48 hours ago, informing them to urgently attend to our demands as frontline workers, it seems our concerns are not getting the urgency it deserves. So, in that regard all nurses are withdrawing their services with immediate effect until there is genuine action taken by the employer. We will only get back to work once our concerns have been swiftly acted upon,” said the Zimbabwe Nurses Association in a statement.
It is not only the nurses who are grieving about their welfare but doctors as well. They wrote a letter to the Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, his permanent secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva, the Health Service Board, Higher Life Foundation, all clinical directors, all hospital chief executive officers, head of divisions ans consultants. They were citing the PPE is not yet available.
“Pursuant to the meeting we had on Monday 23 March 2020. In which we communicated to you our genuine grievances and expressed our fears concerning this deadly pandemic which has not spared healthcare workers as well. We expected an urgent response in writing from your office which has not come up until now.
“We have expressed to you the issue of PPE which is still not yet available. The way in which the Hospital is to be functioning still remains vurge. Whilst you continue to run around putting things in place we would like to make it clear in no uncertain terms that our members will not be able to continue carrying out their duties with immediate effect,” said Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association president Dr Tawanda Zvakada.
“An inconveniences caused regarding this position we have taken is sincerely regrettable but it was necessitated by a communication breakdown between the top management and frontline doctors.”
He added, Given the urgency of the matter and the need for social distancing a hardcopy version of the same letter will be hand delivered when the conditions are permissive.