WELL, if there is any man who is having sleepless nights over how he could transform fortunes of the health sector and probably save his job then that man is none other than Honorable Dr David Parirenyatwa, the minister of health and child care.
By The Crazy Doctor
Parirenyatwa has served as health minister for more than 15 years under the ZANU PF government. Truth be told, the health sector suffered massive collapse and decadence, with most public health institutions turning into white elephants and health museums during this period.
Just like their nonogenarian leader Robert Mugabe who was famed for sleeping at local and international conferences, most ministers had caught the sleeping bug and sleeping on the job had become order of the day.
However, with the coming in of the new government being headed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, honeymoon seems to be over for our ministers. For some however we know that its only a matter of time before the Axe falls on their necks, they are “The walking dead” and might not make it into office after the watershed elections scheduled for June this year
Since the day President Mnangagwa ordered ministers to come with 100 day plans for their portfolios, it has not been business as usual and the minister of health Dr Parirenyatwa has been on his toes ever since.
Due to the tightness of the 100 deadline, Minister Parirenyatwa’s Christmas holidays was one hectic one. While many took a break for the unity day celebrations, the minister was deep down in rural Kariba in Siakobvu where he toured the Hospital as well as look at the state of affairs at the facility with the aim of providing a lasting solution to the health crisis in the area.
It is reported that Parirenyatwa warned officials at the hospital to pull up their sleeves and get down to some serious work.
Just recently, his ministry announced a reduction in the blood prices and free blood for pregnant mothers. More-so, the minister is likely to oversee the trimming of the National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) Board from the current 17 members to at least anything below nine members.
On the domestic financing front of the health sector, minister Parirenyatwa announced that government had received not less than $18 million from the Air Time levy and the money would go towards financing purchase of essential drugs for public health institutions as well as providing a $4 million blood subsidy to pregnancy complications.
Just last week following a Cholera outbreak which struck Zambia, the ministry of health set up Temporal camp at Nymapanda boder post to prevent the inflow of Cholera into the country.
Unlike most government officials who move around with the media, the minister is making private unannounced visits to public health institutions.
In December 2017, minister Parirenyatwa was spotted in the thick of the night at Parirenyatwa Hospital following a Beds crisis at the hospital and early this morning, (16/01/18) he was spotted again at the hospital in the early hours of the day.
Its not business as usual in the sector and the minister now means business. Had he only done this say 10 years ago, Zimbabwe’s health sector would be a force to reckon with in the region.