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As Cholera Rages, Zimbabwe Hospital Staff Reject Hard-Currency Offer


Struggling along with international partners to containa burgeoning cholera epidemic, the Zimbabwean governmentlate this week offered hard currency wages to striking doctors, nurses and hospital staff who promptly rejected the proposal it as inadequate.

Meanwhile a major new cholera outbreak was reported in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province, where sources said 60 people have died in the past four days.

Correspondent Sylvia Manika of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported from Harare that the resident doctors and nurses spurned monthly rates of US$200 and US$60, respectively.

The World Health Organization meanwhile said the death toll from cholera in Zimbabwe had reached 792 with more than 17,000 cases reported across the country.

Medecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, called the epidemic "unprecedented" in scale and warned it could continue for months- this following controversial comments by President Robert Mugabe who said the epidemic had been brought under control.

The U.S. government said it is more than doubling emergency its emergency medical aid to the country, adding US$6.2 million to the US$4.6 million already provided.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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