At least 2,200 Zimbabwe health professionals have left the country for jobs in the US, UK, Australia and neighbouring states amid growing cases of Covid-19.
The nation’s Health Service Board says the number is more than twice the number of doctors, nurses and pharmacists who left last year, and thrice the number that left in 2019.
Officials also indicate that the massive exodus has already injured the already fragile health system, which suffers from a deficiency of medical equipment and medicines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every nation should have at least 23 doctors per 10,000 people, a figure that Zimbabwe is far from meeting.
In the latest survey held in 2015, Zimbabwe had an average of just 1.6 doctors per 10,000 people.
In spite of several promises by the government to boost wages, they remain low.
Monthly, an average worker in the public sector takes home less than $200, while in the UK – which relaxed visa restrictions for health workers in 2020 – they can earn up to 10 times as much.