POPULATION Services Zimbabwe (PSZ) has received an amount to the tune of $8.5 million from the Embassy of Sweden which is meant for scaling up family planning projects around the country under the Blue Star initiative.
By Michael Gwarisa
Officiating at the PSZ Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Family planning project launch, First Lady, Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa said the SRHR partnership between PSZ, the Swedish and Zimbabwean government was a step in the right direction for Zimbabwe.
“I am deeply humbled to be part of this great initiative that addresses the health of women and ultimately families in Zimbabwe. The partnership between the Swedish Government through the Swedish Internal Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) and PSZ which complements the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) is indeed a commendable collaboration.
“Given the background that most women lack the Knowledge and resources to access morden family planning methods. This partnership undoubtedly comes to bridge the gap and address these challenges,” said First Lady, Amai Mnangagwa.
She added that women’s reproductive health was her passion but also implored men to also take up permanent family planning methods like vasectomy so as to avoid unplanned pregnancies.
“I have made it a priority that women’s health is prioritised as evidenced by the National Cervical Cancer Screening program. I believe SRHR programs such as family planning, cancer screening, and management of sexually transmitted infections should be integrated to ensure a one stop shop for women.
“I would like to acknowledge past success stemming from a mutually beneficial relations between the government of Zimbabwe and PSZ through the implementation of complimentary projects between PSZ and government.”
Swedish Embassy Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Sophia Calltorp said the family the project will be implemented in all the country’s 10 provinces.
“The Swedish government has availed $8.5 million to fund the PSZ family project. This program will be implemented in all Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces. In order to improve to access top quality health and family planning services. Improving access to quality health services is one of Sweden’s major goal.
“Sweden is the first country to have a Feminist foreign policy,” said Ms Calltorp.
Meanwhile, the Blue Star project is a delivery channel and innovative delivery model to reach into communities through the private sector healthcare network. Currently, more than 55 Bluestar partners have been engaged in the eight out of the 10 country’s provinces.
Under the Bluestar initiative, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) provides specialized training and capacity development to partners to enable them to provide affordable and high quality SRHR services, as well as rigorous quality assurance and robust monitoring and evaluation, thereby improving the quality of healthcare in the private sector and supporting the overall healthcare system in Zimbabwe.
Speaking on behalf of Health minster Dr David Parirenayatwa, secretary in the MoHCC, General Gerald Gwinji said government is scaling up family planning services around the country and the partnership between PSZ, Sweden and the government of Zimbabwe was a welcome move.