Zambia’s state doctors down tools

2010-09-28 07:20

Lusaka, Zambia – State doctors in Zambia had gone on strike after unsuccessful health sector talks with the government, their union said today.

“We regret to inform the general public that the members of the Resident Doctors’ Association of Zambia (RDAZ) have unanimously resolved to withdraw our labour with immediate effect,” said a statement yesterday signed by RDAZ acting president Amon Ngongola.

“While we recognise the tremendous efforts made by the ministry of health to resolve our problems, it became clear that the ministry had limitations.”

The association said it had made every effort to avert the walkout, but discussions had not yielded positive results.

“As an executive, we engaged all channels necessary to avert this action. We recognise that the withdrawal of labour results in loss of life, and that out aggravation cannot have more value than the life of a human being,” Ngongola said.

Ngongola did not give details of the problems doctors faced, but strikes by doctors to secure better working conditions were common.

Last year, medical doctors went on an indefinite strike, during which a woman gave birth on the sidewalks of the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

The picture of the woman giving birth was given to the Post Newspaper, which did not publish it, but sent it to vice-president George Kunda and women’s groups. The picture caused an uproar.

The news editor of the paper, Chansa Kabwela, was arrested for spreading pornography, but was later acquitted.

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