Senior doctors in Zimbabwe's public hospitals were on strike for the last four months and it seems that the prolonged strike has finally come to an end. The doctors in Zimbabwe were on strike to protest over pay and poor conditions in public hospitals in the African country. Doctors have agreed to return to work after billionaire Strive Masiyiwa offered to set-up a 100 million fund to support them. Last year Zimbabwean telecoms billionaire Masiyiwa tabled an offer that would pay up to 2,000 doctors allowance of about $300 a month.
According to international media reports, Masiyiwa decided to set-up a fellowship programme run by his Hiherlife Foundation that would help the doctors for a period of six months. Masiyiwa is a private citizen who lives in the United Kingdom and is the founder and executive chairman of the telecommunications, media and technology company Econet Wireless. After Masiyiwa's offer, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association (ZHDA) released a statement to confirm that they have accepted his proposal.
The statement read, "In the light of the recent developments, the ZHDA wants to extend its gratitude to the Higherlife Foundation for extending its offer once again to all government doctors. The ZHDA is encouraging its entire membership to go and apply for the training fellowship before the stipulated deadline. The ZHDA remains eager and committed to engaging all the responsible authorities and interested parties in finding a long-lasting solution to the doctors' welfare and to the working conditions in hospitals for the benefit of our patients."
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing an economic crisis where its currency is unable to cope with triple-digit inflation. Public doctors were demanding a pay hike as Zimbabwe was suffering from high unemployment, food shortages and rolling powder blackout. Zimbabwean government had clearly stated that it cannot afford to increase the salary of the doctors before they downed their tools and took to the streets to protest.