CIVIL Societies Organisations (CSOs) been urged to engage communities on issues pertaining to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in a bid to simplify the issues surrounding the subject for better understanding and uptake at grassroots.
By Patricia Mashiri
Speaking during a meeting on UHC in the capital, Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) representative, Morgen Chinoona said the issue of UHC needed more awareness raising especially in hard to reach areas.
It is important for us to engage communities because they have a right to know about risks to their health and well-being. Culturally appropriate information can help communities make informed decisions to reduce the health risks.
“Action taken by individuals, families and communities affected are key to controlling the public health threats or problems. It also enhances ownership and sustainability of health interventions as well as accountability and transparency in health delivery system,” Chinoona said.
He added that there was need to address social determinants of health.
Jointed Hands, Acting Chair, Donald Tobaiwa said everyone has to be taken on board in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Everyone should be involved when we talk about UHC. We should be asking ourselves as CSOs what we are doing to our communities. We should be giving them all the information they need to know about UHC.
“We also need to hold to account our politicians and make sure they deliver UHC is deliverable. There is need to emphasise that politicians should put their political differences aside and make sure that they prioritise everyone’s health in the country,” Tobaiwa said.
One of the participants Provincial Field Officer Zimbabwe National Network of People living with HIV( ZNNP+), Evellyn Chamisa said the economic challenges in the country were also leading to poor delivery system people are travelling long distances for medical attention.
“Economic challenges are leading to poor delivery system in the country. People are travelling as far as Chitungwiza from Murehwa for medical check ups because their failing to get medication from their local clinics. Sometimes people are forced to take expired drugs and or given single doses instead of to. Accessibility to UHC is disturbed because of the ongoing strikes and staff shortages,” Chamisa said.
Pertaining key challenges in financing UHC, there is still a massive gap between population declaration and concrete action that is lack of enforceability, accountability and willingness to prioritise health in the budget, lack of resources as well as deep rooted structural problems in inequality and weak health services. Therefore s lot has to be done by the government, CSOs and the community to achieve UHC in the country.