Private Health Sector Should Not Profiteer From Vaccines-CWGH

THE Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) Executive Director, Mr Itai Rusike says the ongoing private sector vaccination drive should not compromise availability of vaccine stocks in the public sector where majority of citizens are getting vaccinated.

By Michael Gwarisa

His plea follows reports that some public health institutions as well as local authority facilities were having challenges and struggling to administer the first dose while private players administering vaccines were fully stocked with both first and second doses.

Speaking to HealthTimes, Mr Rusike said even though Zimbabwe should be commended for the progress with Covid-19 Vaccination, there was urgent need to ensure continued supply of vaccines in the country as the available vaccines were not matching up with the high demand of people willing to take up the vaccine jab.

There is urgent need to address the issue of vaccine equity and ensure that vaccines are readily available at public health facilities in order to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst the general public so that we will leave not leave anyone behind and move towards achieving universal health coverage.

“The government must distribute the vaccines where the people are and live – at primary care level to protect health care workers and the community they serve from Covid-19. The private health sector is motivated by money and should not be allowed to create a barrier to vaccine access as Covid-19 is a disease of public health concern that should be funded by the government and offered to the general for free. The predatory and profiteering practices of the private health sector that notoriously seek profit over people’s lives must be challenged and monitored,” said Mr Rusike.

He added that the Civil Society, Media and Parliamentarians should assist in monitoring progress on the national vaccination roll-out programme as widespread vaccination can provide a platform for universal health coverage.
“There is need to make sure that access to other primary health care services is maintained throughout the pandemic.”

Vaccination in border towns, other hotspots and peoples’ markets is 
progressing as scheduled. Two million syringes were procured from 
Sinopharm of China and received on 7 August, 2021.

Briefing Journalists during a Post Cabinet Media Briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said Private companies were now eligible to access vaccines on behalf of their employees.

“Cabinet further wishes to inform the nation that private companies, hotels and other institutions can access vaccines upon payment of the requisite fees to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“This is on the proviso that they seek authority from the Ministry for qualified persons to conduct the vaccination of their staff and or patrons. Special care should also be taken to ensure that standard equipment is used for vaccination,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.



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