ZIMBABWE’S budget towards the health sector is not as bad as people might want to suggest and it is the sixth biggest health budget in Africa, UNAIDS Country Director, Mr Girmary Haile has said.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking during the launch of the Zimbabwe Private Sector HIV/AIDS and Wellness Coordination Board (ZIPSHAW), Mr Haile said Zimbabweans should divert their attention from the negative and focus on the good that government was doing to improve livelihoods of people.
“My colleagues whom I spend time with from the government really spend time in the response which they don’t really see very clearly the way we see where they have taken this country in terms of excellent and incredible achievements that are being recorded in Zimbabwe.
“I am six months old in ZIMBABWE and my excitement is still building u every day. But the one thing that myself and the rest of the world is not going to forgive you Zimbabwe is that you have not documented your work.
“The health budget, yes health budget has to reach 15% and we are still at 9%, but I think you are listening too much to the negative news about Zimbabwe out there. Zimbabwe in terms of the health budget is the sixth biggest in Africa, I don’t think we are behind,” said Girmary.
Zimbabwe’s government has been slammed by health rights groups and activists for failing to meet the 15 percent Abuja target.
He also heaped praises on health and childcare Minister, Dr Davif Parirenyatwa for spearheading the global coalition on HIV prevention program which has resulted in Zimbabwe heavily reducing its HIV prevalence to around 14 percent.
“From my observation from Zimbabwe for a long time is that the image that we have about Zimbabwe in UNAIDS is the face of Hon David Parirenyantwa, he has brought a very strong message across the world, whenever we talk about global coalition on prevention, no one can move a step forward without mentioning Dr Parirenyatwa.
“Even as we speak now, the new lessons good practices are still coming from Zimbabwe.”