. . . as he salutes healthcare workers

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa last night promised to improve the welfare of health workers by insisting his administration is doing its best to reduce brain drain in the sector. 

Addressing the nation yesterday, Mnangagwa said health workers are doing a great job especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.   

“Government has been making all efforts to improve the conditions of service for the health care workers in order to retain staff and to stabilise the sector.  

“Our thrust has been to ensure that healthcare workers are competitively remunerated; have adequate tools of trade; have decent accommodation and, are provided reliable transport. 

“Various strategies have been implemented to motivate and retain healthcare workers, among them: prioritised vaccination programme of all healthcare workers; allowances specific to the Health Sector; covid-19 allowances; duty-free vehicle importation scheme; civil service vehicle loan scheme; a housing revolving fund through the ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities; institutional accommodation and, Covid-19 employers’ liability insurance cover for health care workers in case of deaths and illness.” 

He said his administration is committed to continuously address the conditions of service for healthcare workers. 

“I am confident that the nation will emerge victorious and avert the fourth wave. If the pandemic forces its way on us, it must find our nation prepared. That way, we will be able to minimise cases and lower deaths. 

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 virus in Asia in 2019, the disease has spread to every continent. The pandemic is much more than a health crisis as it has negatively impacted the social and economic spheres of the world. Most of the gains made in the health sector have suffered greatly due to threats related to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Many nations are in turmoil. Zimbabwe, like many other countries, has not been spared from the unprecedented scourge, as we witnessed a sharp increase in the number of infection cases and deaths to levels we had not anticipated.” 

Mnangagwa added that during the third wave of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of health workers who have tested positive, compared to the first and second waves of the pandemic. 

“Our deep, heartfelt condolences go to families of those who lost their lives while on duty. May their dear souls rest in eternal peace. Allow me to invite the entire nation to observe a moment of silence in honour of these gallant and brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save our motherland, Zimbabwe,” he said.