Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe will continue to increase the proportion of its national budget allocated to efficient and effective health care services, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga told the World Health Assembly yesterday.
The 75th meeting of the assembly is being held in Geneva, Switzerland, but VP Chiwenga delivered his message virtually.
VP Chiwenga said the health and well-being of Zimbabweans was at the core of the National Development Strategy 1 which runs from 2021-2025.
Zimbabwe believes that the provision of world-class health services is central to the achievement of an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030.
“In that regard, a healthy workforce and population are key to the attainment of that vision,” said VP Chiwenga. “As a result, the Government of Zimbabwe continues to increase the proportion of national Budget allocated to the provision of efficient and effective health care services.
“Zimbabwe is determined to ensure quality and equitable health services for all. Together, we can achieve this task.”
VP Chiwenga reminded the world that Zimbabwe’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which won several international endorsements, was funded through local resources.
Last year, over US$100 million from domestic resources were allocated to the national roll-out of Covid-19 vaccination and allied mitigation measures in Zimbabwe, indicating the importance that the Government accorded to the health sector.
Although some milestones recorded in the health sector were reversed by the effects of Covid-19 and the economic sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe by the West, VP Chiwenga said efforts were being made to ensure the successes were not eroded.
The Government was implementing innovative strategies to catch up and regain lost ground, with particular focus on the most vulnerable and underprivileged.
Zimbabwe’s interventions are anchored on the National Health Strategy 2021-2025, which aims at building a resilient health system, said VP Chiwenga said.
“The strategy recognises the critical importance of strong primary health care as the most cost-effective and equitable way to achieving universal health coverage and health security,” he said.
“I am impressed that we are using important lessons learned from the national Covid-19 response in Zimbabwe. The framework involves an inter-ministerial approach that guided the whole-of-Government, whole-of-society Covid-19 response.
“The approach is now being used to tackle other challenges including human capital for healthcare provision, substance abuse and mental health as well as research and innovation.”
VP Chiwenga congratulated Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus on his nomination to serve a second term as director general of the World Health Organisation.
He commended Dr Ghebreyesus’ leadership, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
VP Chiwenga lauded the leadership and support that Zimbabwe had and continued to receive from Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa.