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September 14, 2014

HIV and AIDS counselors bitter over salaries

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:09 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi

CHINHOYI- HIV and AIDS counselors within Mashonaland West province are bitter over unpaid salaries as they are forced to get allowances only for contracts that are going for nearly three years as the health sector faces new challenges.

In three month long probe carried out within the province’s rural and urban hospitals where they are first port of call for mostly pregnant women going through mandatory HIV testing, the workers have since given up on the ‘’abuse by senior officials who can not discuss the issues openly’’ according to our sources.

‘’We are not getting salaries and there is no pension for us, so you can not plan for the future. Everyone has responsibilities but we are on the receiving end here for our families. There is no future for us and those in authority do not care what we are going through after counseling patients as you face the reality of being overworked but underpaid’’ lamented one senior counselor at Kadoma hospital speaking on condition that he is not named.

Mental torture

In Chinhoyi, another counselor summed it up, ‘’we are going through mental torture and no one feels sorry for us.’’

Another health crisis is looming as the counselors who were trained to relief pressure on nurses and doctors on HIV and AIDS issues will soon abandon their core duties.

‘’With the rate of HIV and AIDS tuberculosis co-infection, some patients are likely to default and we can not make follow up as we face our personal problems that are not being solved amicably by those in position of power’’ added another woman counselor at Karoi hospital.

She added that it seems their plight can not be solved though they play an integral part within the health sector especially on HIV issues.

No one concerned

‘’No one is concerned about us. We thought the ministry of health was likely to engage us as part of their workforce so that you are assured of decent salary monthly and be on pension. Our allowances may take up three months and there is no explanation why there has never been an increment for three years. It is frustrating’’ added a Kadoma worker.

Some of the workers in rural clinic echoed the same sentiments saying they have since lost hope after some who were trained two years ago are still yet to get certificates.

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