ZIMBABWE only has 134 operational ambulances out of 282 vehicles, a situation which has affected the sector’s capacity to respond to health emergencies.
This was revealed by Auditor General, Mildred Chiri during her submission of the Report on the Audit of Appropriation Accounts, Finance and Revenue Statements and Fund Accounts of Zimbabwe for the year ended December 31, 2018.
“In order for the Ministry to promote public health it requires ambulances to provide transport to patients. My examination of the asset register for the Ministry however, revealed a constraint in the provision of transport to patients around the country.
“As at December 31, 2018 the Ministry had 282 ambulances and out of the 282 ambulances, 134 (48%) were functional whilst 148 (52%) were non-runners. Failure to have adequate number of functional ambulances negatively affects service delivery as patients are not transported on time,” said Chiri.
Furthermore, service delivery continues to be a challenge at most of the institutions as a result of lack of resources such as medical equipment, infrastructure, ambulances, reagents and medical personnel.
Chiri also added that there was little regard for vulnerable children and the elderly amidst indications that the ministry of labor failed to disburse finds which were meant for improving livelihoods of children who live under harsh conditions.
“Harmonised Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) is an unconditional transfer of cash entitlements to vulnerable households in order to reduce household poverty, protect and enhance the livelihood of all vulnerable children so that they refrain from risky coping strategies like child labour and early marriages.
“During the year under review, Treasury availed $9 759 722 for the HSCT programme. However, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare did not initiate appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries received their pay outs. The funds were later recalled by the Treasury on December 31, 2018 after realizing that no disbursements were effected by the Ministry. Non disbursement of the funds deprived the beneficiaries of a reasonable standard of life as the monies were meant for the vulnerable groups. This resulted in non fulfilment of programme objectives,” she said.