ACTING Minister of Health and Child Care, Professor Amon Murwira has expressed appreciation to development partners for the financial and technical support they render to the healthcare sector.
By Patson Gumbo
Speaking at the High Level Policy Dialogue on Healthcare Financing in Zimbabwe that was held in Harare, Professor Murwira said the government of Zimbabwe was looking at major issues in the health sector like financing, low medicine availability among others and having robust strategic responses towards these issues.
What is very clear is that health underpins all economic activity and prospects of economic progress and we have seen that the sources of health care funding are mainly from government but we also appreciate the support that we get from development partners and it’s very well appreciated in a family of nations. “On the issues in our health sector there are topical issues that we are always looking at including.
the issue of financing itself that we believe is not yet adequate, we are dogged with issues of low medicine availability as well as high mobidity and mortality due to non communicable diseases, high costs in tb diagnosis as well as delayed control of disease outbreaks that include cholera, typhoid and covid 19 pandemic. These being the issues we’ve had very robust and determined strategic responses as government with the support of our partners.” said Professor Murwira
The Ministry of Finance affirmed government’s commitment in financing the the country’s health care system.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon Clemence Chiduwa speaking at the same dialogue said the health and well being of the population is of great importance in the moving forward of the economy and assured that government is committed to meet health obligations despite challenges faced by the country.
“Financing is guided by the policy trajectory that we have, the health budget and its financing is guided by the national development strategy 1 which is our five-year blueprint, it is also guided by the national health strategy financing policy.
In order for us to move forward as a country the health and well-being of the population and the workforce is very important as it contributes to the economic progress of the country.
Over the years the government of Zimbabwe has invested quite a lot in health infrastructure, that is, looking at clinics and hospitals. These have been financed largely from treasury, the contributions by the development partners, the private sectors and churches,” Hon. Muduwa said
The World Health Organisation Country Director, Dr. Alex Gasasira said Zimbabwe was making encouraging steps in health care financing but more still needs to be done in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have seen encouraging trends in terms of overall government expenditure and proportion of government expenditure on health. We can not forget that we are in the midst of a global pandemic. This pandemic has been the biggest public health and socio-economic crisis that the world has experienced in the last century, a lot of people have been pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic.
And if before the pandemic we already had people foregoing health services because they could not afford it our assumption is that more people may not be able to access the services that are crucial.” said Dr. Gasasira
UNICEF Global Director of Health, Dr. Aboubacar Kampo commended the efforts and commitment of government in health fund.
“Zimbabwe has demonstrated that things can be achieved, that health services can be provided. The response to Covid-19 in those very difficult times, Zimbabwe has demonstrated that it can stand on their own feet. Zimbabwe is one of the few African countries which has paid for its vaccines,” he said.