The Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) has lamented the suffering being experienced by nurses due to a rise in the cost of living.
ZPNU secretary-general Douglas Chikobvu implored the government to pay nurses their salaries in foreign currency because the economy is fast re-dollarising. Said Chikobvu:
The economy is fast re-dollarising, but our salaries are still pegged in Zimbabwe dollars at $3 500 for the least paid worker.
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What this means is that nurses are earning an average of US$35 per month. In real life, rentals, food, medical aid and other essential bills require US dollars upfront hence we are trapped in a situation which we cannot sustain.
Chikobvu further indicated that the frontline health care workers in many hospitals lacked personal protective equipment such as surgical face masks and scrubs, exposing them to the coronavirus.
He urged the government to consider awarding nurses a decent salary in US dollars and also a graded risk allowance based on exposure, rather than the one size fits all approach of US$75 being implemented across the board.