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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ugandan doctors start nationwide strike over low pay

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Ugandan doctors on Monday started a nationwide strike following the government failure to respond to their calls for a salary pay rise and better working conditions in public hospitals.

The doctors, led by the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), began the strike after rejecting a call to cancel the move made by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and health ministry officials at a bilateral meeting held earlier Monday in the capital Kampala

“I would advise the industrial action that has been called be suspended as we look at your grievances,” said Rugunda.

Ekwaro Obuk, president of UMA, an umbrella organization of Uganda’s medical doctors, told Xinhua that the strike will continue unless the government meets their demands to improve pay, lack of drugs and medical supplies so that they can better work.

“We have officially launched the industrial action. We shall not resume until our problems are addressed,” said Obuk.

“Our main target (of the strike) is to show our displeasure with the payment and work conditions,” said UMA General Secretary Mukuzi Muhereza in a statement.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Experts from Uganda, Kenya and WHO meet on combating deadly Marburg virus

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Health experts and scientists from Uganda, Kenya and the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting in eastern Uganda to discuss ways of combating the deadly Marburg virus disease.

The experts meeting in Kapchorwa district, the epicenter of the current outbreak in Uganda, will share knowledge on Marburg prevention mechanisms and develop common plans for cross-border surveillance.

Henry Mwebesa, acting director general of health services at Uganda’s Ministry of Health, said in a statement that the meeting serves as a platform for sharing surveillance data, epidemiological and other related information on the highly fatal virus outbreak reported in the Kween and Kapchorwa districts.

Uganda’s ministry of health on Friday said it traced a traditional healer who traveled to West Pokot in neighboring Kenya after getting into contact with the second confirmed case of Marburg in Kween.

There are currently six cumulative cases, including three deaths, two confirmed, one probable and three suspected, since the outbreak was first reported last month.

Marburg is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever, according to the WHO.

According to the global health body, the illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly with severe headache and malaise.

             

 

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