via Govt begs for more US funding – Southern Eye by Tatenda Chitagu 3 December 2013
Despite the sour relations between Harare and Washington, the government has begged the United States (US) to dig deeper into its purse and increase funding for the country’s ailing health sector as the liquidity crisis deepens.
Speaking at the 13th Auxillia Chimusoro awards yesterday, Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Robert Mudyiradima begged US ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton to “spare a little more thousands” for Masvingo province.
“While we appreciate current support from the American embassy, we appeal for special attention from you. If you could spare a little more thousands for the people of Masvingo as we need to get all HIV and Aids patients on life-saving antiretroviral therapy,” said Mudyiradima.
“We know you are already supporting our ministry and other non-governmental organisations, but we prefer preferential treatment for Masvingo.
“It is within your powers for us to get a little bit extra than all other provinces. We need to achieve universal access and fight stigma. We need a little more notice so that we can prove that universal access is achievable,” Mudyiradima said.
National Aids Council provincial officer Ivos Makoni had earlier lamented the demise of Aids support groups in the province due to donor fatigue.
“Many Aids support groups have folded over the years due to lack of funding and we appreciate the remaining ones for working very hard under difficult conditions,” Makoni said.
Wharton said the US government is committed to help and work with the Zimbabwean government.
“We are committed to fund the government of Zimbabwe’s health sector.
“We believe it is important to respond to the needs of Zimbabweans. We provide aid in the health as well as the education sector. Our relationship is important and we work closely with several government ministries,” said Wharton.
He said the US government had funded Zimbabwe’s health sector to the tune of $125 million for HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and maternal and infant mortality programmes in 2013.