On 18 November 2008 health workers from two Harare hospitals protested against the state of the public health system. They planned to march to the offices of the Minister of Health and Child Welfare to present a petition, but were stopped by heavily armed riot police. When they gathered to resume their protest at the grounds of Parirenyatwa Hospital, riot police entered the hospital grounds and forcibly dispersed them, assaulting several health workers in the process.
ZADHR calls for the following urgent action to be taken:
1. The government should declare the cholera outbreak a national disaster and solicit international support to bring it under control and restore supply of safe water and sanitation systems to Zimbabwe's population.
2. Measures should be taken to provide adequate medical supplies, drugs and equipment to Zimbabwe's hospitals and clinics. While long term sustainable measures are ultimately required, there is a need for urgent interim assistance to restore functionality to Zimbabwe's health system.
3. The Government must guarantee quality for health professionals and to ensure that conditions in which these skills can be retained are put in place (including adequate remuneration and safe working conditions).