BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
MEMBERS of Parliament have launched a campaign to push for the Health and Child Care ministry to be split into two portfolios following public concerns that the current structure was prioritising health matters at the expense of child welfare issues.
This was revealed by Bulawayo Proportional Representation MP Jasmine Toffa (MDC Alliance) who told NewsDay that child health issues had been sidelined during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With COVID-19, there is no longer consideration of children’s health issues. There is absolutely no one in government that we can hold accountable when it comes to children’s issues,” Toffa said.
“Children are the basis of the foundation of our nation, and we need to make sure that they are well catered for. We now need to have a standalone ministry which will look at children’s health needs.
“The other reason why we feel this ministry is important is that children need to speak and they need to be heard. If children go to school, it will also reduce the number of street kids,” Toffa said.
Health and Child Care ministry spokesperson Donald Mujiri said MPs had the power to summon Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga to discuss children’s health issues.
“The MPs have the power to call the Health minister before Parliament to give oral evidence on children’s health issues. But I do not think that there is a country which has a specific ministry for children. They should be specific on what exactly children are not getting because some of the issues being raised can be dealt with by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Edcuation,” Mujiri said.
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