Public health workers in the poor Binga district in Matabeleland North downed tools Tuesday as they joined their colleagues in a nationwide strike over poor remuneration and working conditions.
In a statement, the Binga health workers said: "This serves to inform you that we as Binga District Hospital health workers have decided to join our fellow colleagues nationwide and withdraw our services with immediate effect for the reasons below.
"We share the same grievances with all other health workers countrywide who are currently incapacitated due to eroded income."
The health workers said they were unhappy with the government's reluctance in solving the current impasse and also a failure by the Health Ministry to provide them with adequate personal protective clothing.
"So we feel by discontinuing to come to work the employer will realise the urgency of the matter at hand. The ministry has been silent on compensation in the event of death from Covid-19 acquired at work. There are inadequate resources in the hospital especially the maternity ward," they said.
The health workers who include nurses said midwives attended to expecting mothers during labour and delivery without proper non-absorbable suture material, putting them at risk.
Binga hospital is also struggling to provide soap and detergents to workers and patients for hand washing and cleaning the wards as part of Covid-19 preventive measures.