Parirenyatwa Vows to Improve Health Sector

via Parirenyatwa Hails Predecessor, Vows to Improve Health Sector by Sylvia Manika for VOA Zimbabwe 23.09.2013

Zimbabwe’s new health minister, Dr. David Parirenyatwa, has commended the just-ended inclusive government for its efforts in improving the health sector since 2009 but says more needs to be done to completely rebuild the ailing but recovering sector.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with VOA, Parirenyatwa said he will continue to aggressively pursue the policies championed by his predecessor Dr. Henry Madzorera, adding his ministry will prioritize the improvement of staffing levels in hospitals, fight growing cervical cancer, reducing maternal and child mortality rates and revamping life-saving machinery and equipment in health institutions.

Parirenyatwa, who is back in cabinet after being left out in the cold at the inception of the unity government, says he is ready “to continue the good work that was done by the inclusive government” in the health sector.

The minister said he will soon reverse a previous blanket freeze on new recruitment that was imposed by the ministry of finance during the time of the inclusive government. He did not elaborate on where the government would find money to pay additional workers in the health sector.

“Clearly we must have an unfreezing of posts because the staff establishment in our hospitals has not changed since 1980,” said Parirenyatwa. “We believe that it’s high time now because we now have bigger population, diseases are more intense, particularly HIV so we do need to expand our own establishment.”

Parirenyatwa said his ministry will focus on improving staffing levels in hospitals, adding nurses and doctors in Zimbabwe’s health establishments are extremely overworked, a situation he says could compromise the quality of care provided to patients.

Revamping life-saving equipment such as radiotherapy dialysis machines at central hospitals would be a major priority, the Murehwa North lawmaker said.

This, he said, would greatly improve the quality of specialized care at Zimbabwe’s referral hospital. Parirenyatwa said he would be working with the media to raise funds to aid his efforts to revamp the health sector.

Also of major concern to the minister is the growing number of women in the country being diagnosed with cervical cancer, particularly those living with HIV. He says resources will be spent on improving treatment options and the early detection of cervical cancer.

Many women die of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe annually, many of them in rural areas where knowledge about the disease is low and health facilities ill-equipped to deal with the disease.

Zimbabwe’s maternal mortality rate remains very with as many as eight women estimated to die during child birth, while as many as 100 children die every day.

Dr. Parirenyatwa said this will be another priority of the government in the next five years.

He said under the Health Transition Fund, a program administered by the United Nations Children’s Fund and supported by a number of European Union countries, has done a lot to reduce high maternal and child mortality rates, especially by removing user fees.

Zimbabwe’s health sector used to be counted among the best in Africa but years of economic decline and reduced funding saw the sector collapse under Parirenyatwa’s leadership. The economic collapse was largely blamed on the poor policies of the Zanu PF government, which won the July 31st national elections, crushing former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC formation.

It remains to be seen if Parirenyatwa would be able to maintain and improve on the progress made by the unity government in revamping the ailing health sector.

“I’m optimistic that I can do it,” says Parirenyatwa. “We have to build on to what is already there. The efforts of the inclusive government should really be commended and working together with all our partners, I’m sure things can only continue to improve.”



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    David you are a failed doctor, failed minister of health you are pathetic. Your father must be turning in his grave knowing his progeny is a liar and a thief. You are useless and whatever you say is absolute rubbish. You will achieve nothing because you follow the master crook Mugabe

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    Nyepudzayi 10 years ago

    Does it mean no more visits to Malaysia for treatment as a sign of commitment to revamp the health sector ?

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    Mr Minister when you and your government chums use the health system in Zimbabwe (Like Ian Smith did)we will start to believe you.

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    Sekuru Tiva 10 years ago

    First you have admitted that the GNU,or is it MDC T in this case set some good bench mark for you,should we see a reversal on that as is typical of all zpf products,then we know when you were on leave for four long years ,you were not learning at all,apart from taking your girlfriends to your under utilised farm for a bang.This portfolio has to do with saving lives ,so get it very right this time please David.

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    maisokwazo 10 years ago

    OH good luck Parirenyatwa! GOOD LUCK! And while you are surrounded by these hudlums who are hoodwinked and who see and represent nothing good and who think they are greater than life itself. GOOD LUCK SIR especially when surrounded and being directed by animals that seeks treatment in Malasiyia. get steroids to look energetic during elections and steal people’s hope and trample and stiffle people’s aspirations and thrive in their quoldrums of corruption. zealotry and paganism and thieving. GOOD LUCK but mind don’t be the sacrificial lamb as we wait and are yet to see.

    OH by the way thanks for recognizing that vision from the visionary Dr. Henry Madzorera an MDC product and people.s choice.

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    Doctor Pari,
    I just had to take my mum to South Africa for treatment,I grew up with your sons tanaka & tawanda,we had good hospitals then, I believe those days are around the corner,but you have to be committed to making it happen and get back optimistic zims like myself’s support.Go for it, ignore all the negativity and leave behind a new legacy.

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    Tjingababili 10 years ago

    Easier said than done, young man!Your dad was a man!

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    And Mr David was it not you brandishing a weapon in your rural home during the 2008 elections threatening death to those who would not vote for ZANU PF. You should be struck off the medical registry and condemned for your unprofessional and inhuman qualities. Let’s see the proof is in the pudding. You could not even organize a piss up in a brewery because you care to much how smart you look in those chic suits of yours bought with blood money. You should be ashamed to call yourself a doctor. It’s a bloody disgrace.