Health workers end month-long strike in Mali

Bamako - Health workers in Mali called off a month-long strike on Sunday that paralysed hospitals after reaching an agreement with the government.

The stoppage was called by the country's two main health unions, demanding raises for staff and jobs for contract workers, though a skeleton emergency service was maintained.

"The demand for strike action is lifted because we are satisfied," said Yossouf Maiga, a senior official with one of the unions, adding that eight of nine demands had been met.

Government spokesperson and commerce minister Abdel Karim Konate confirmed to AFP the strike was over.

"The strikers and the government have reached agreement," he said.

The strike was the longest ever to hit hospitals in Mali's history and badly affected the majority of patients who could not afford private care, pushing them to seek help from traditional healers.

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