CIVIL Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on government to increase domestic funding for Zimbabwe’s healthcare in the forthcoming 2020 national budget so as to stimulate Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
By Patricia Mashiri
Zimbabwe’s healthcare system is currently in intensive care owing to a plethora of factors chief among them being the poor funding from treasury amongst a host of other ills which have literally brought the sector on its knees.
Speaking during the Civil Society Engagement on the Development of a Submission Paper on Priority Funding Areas in the 2020 National Budget in Harare, Lloyd Dembure, the Country Focal Point for Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH) said there was need to prioritise healthcare financing and identify priority health projects in the forthcoming budget.
Most countries are signatories to the Abuja declaration which states governments should allocate at least 15% of the total annual budgets to health sector but it can be noted that in 2015 only Madagascar allocated 15,6% and Sudan 18.09% towards their health system,” said Dembura.
Dembure also pointed out that Zimbabwe needs to realign its budget to the Abuja declaration in which it is a signatory of which states that every government should allocate at least 15% of the total annual budget to health sector.
Meanwhile, Pan-African Positive Women’s Coalition (PAPWC) Zimbabwe national coordinator, Tendayi Westerwolf, said there was lack of representation and inclusion of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in both funding and policy making.
“We want representation and inclusion, explanation on what added value to PLHIV (Parliament). We need Universal Health Coverage and we call upon Government to take action.
“It is degrading to humiliate people living with HIV mentioning that they have no capacity, such issues really need to be addressed. There is need to engage with different stakeholders to ensure that quality health and representation is extended to Young people living with HIV (PLHIV), PLHIV amongst other key population groups, “Westerhof said.
Also in attendance were youths groups representatives from different organizations which include Key Population Groups(KPs) , Young People living with HIV (YPLHIV), Adolescent Girls and Young Women(AGYW) also articulated that there is still a big gap still existing in terms of domestic drug funding in Zimbabwe. They also indicated that there was discrimination as some other key population groups that include drug users, commercial sex workers were being marginalised and left out in interventions and programing.
“Young people are the future of tomorrow and we feel that funding locally is limited. We rely on external funders so there is need to increase. It is vital to prioritise health for all as well as put people living HIV on the care centre. There is huge gap in terms of representation of adolescent and young people,” Kelvin Makura said.
Other challenges that were articulated include concerning offering priority funding on health include; gap between political declaration and concrete action where there are encounters in transforming commitments into actions, lack of enforceability, lack of accountability, lack of willingness to prioritise health in the budget, lack of resources.
According to the global health 2017, there was limited investment funding and low income, middle- income countries accounted for a higher percentage of the total population, a higher percentage of the diseases burden and a lower percentage of total health spending.