CWGH Workers day press statement

May1, 2023

CWGH Workers’ Day Statement: Government must reward health workers.

As the World celebrates the Workers’ Day today, the Community Working Group on

Health (CWGH) calls upon the government to remunerate the health workers well and

improve their working conditions to curb the current brain drain that has quickened the

collapse of the sector. Let us also make sure that health workers are provided with all

the necessary tools of the trade, health institutions are well equipped with the essential

medicines and modern medical equipment.

One of the major challenges facing the Zimbabwean’s public health care system is brain

drain. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists have left and continue to leave the country to

destinations like South Africa, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia to name just

a few. In fact, Zimbabwean health professionals are found in nearly all countries,

including non-traditional destinations such as Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Spain.

The country has failed to stabilize the brain drain, and some health facilities are

operating with skeletal staff due to lack of staff thereby overwhelming the few health

workers that have remained resulting in staff burnout and low staff morale. Health care

workers (HCWs) continue to be trained but fail to fill the posts established in the 1980s,

let alone the posts and establishment required to deal with the current population,

disease epidemiology and health and development targets. They have continued to

enrich other establishments and countries while the gap they leave in the country’s

institutions continues to glare. The current economic downturn characterized by the high

cost of food prices as well as spiraling inflation has unfortunately worsened the


As we celebrate May 1, we must remember that many workers are being injured or

dying in avoidable work-related incidents. The CWGH expresses its solidarity with all

workers in formal, informal, rural, urban and domestic employment in Zimbabwe.


Itai Rusike (Mr)

Executive Director

Community Working Group on Health

  1. (CWGH)