By Kudakwashe Pembere
The district risk profiles launched on Tuesday in Harare have revealed that there is a huge gap in the provision of quality health in most rural areas in Zimbabwe.
Speaking in an interview, Food and Nutrition Council head of programmes Blessing Butaumocho said the nation does not have the required health institutions and practitioners.
” In terms of basic health facilities, the basic story is that generally we can do with more health facilities, we can do with more health service practitioners.
“Currently we don’t have enough and health facilities, as much as we have done well particularly during the era between 1980 and 1990 in terms of setting up the structures,” he said.
He added, “We need to make sure that the quality of service is scaled up significantly and it ensures that, to start with, your basic health services are available. You basic service resources are available, that’s what we need to do.And then we want then to begin to scale up from then onwards.
He gave credit to the country for having buildings but argued that all the infratsracture is meangliess without health workers and necessary equipment.
“We have made considerable progress in making sure that we have buildings. But buildings alone cannot cure people. The human resources on their own without the requisite equipment and materials will not guarantee us having a healthy nation. A healthy nation that is free from morbidity, mortality, and a healthy nation that is able to contribute meaningfully to development, we will not have that.”
Butaumocho said these gaps which on the other hand can be viewed as opportunities need to be addressed nonetheless.
“So those are the things we need to work on and one oif the things that these profiles do demonstrate is a gap in those particular areas across all rural districts. But inasmuch as we identify a gap, in other words what this is speaking to us is an opportunity. So, these are the areas we need to look at. We have set up hospitals, it’s an opportunity. so that’s what we need to invest in,” he said.
World Food Programme Zimbabwe Representative and Country Director Eddie Rowe said the UN agency shares the country’s ambitious vision of eliminating hunger and ensuring improved nutrition by 2030.
“The Zero Hunger Strategic Review, launched in July 2015 by the Vice President, was a strong signal of national commitment to pursue this agenda. The District Profiles, which we are launching here today, are another significant representation of this commitment.
“This government-owned document, and in particular the recommendations derived from it, build the baseline to guide all stakeholders in working together to achieve the food and nutrition goals set out in the ZimASSET, the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework, or ZUNDAF, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and indeed, to achieve a Zimbabwe with Zero Hunger,” Rowe said.
The outcomes related to SDG2 on addressing hunger and food insecurity are intrinsically linked to progress in other elements of the Sustainable Development Agenda.
“Ending hunger means ensuring access to nutritious food for the most vulnerable, tackling the multi-dimensional causes of malnutrition, including health and sanitation, and increasing agricultural production through sustainable and resilient food systems.”