Govt must respect Abuja Declaration, citizens urge

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Jeffrey Muvundusi

in BULAWAYO

CITIZENS here have urged the government to prioritise the health sector and allocate to it 15 percent of the national budget.

Contributing to a national budget consultation organised by the Parliament’s Finance committee this week, a representative from Friendly Service Delivery, Phakamani Moyo, said budget allocation for the health sector needed to be aligned with the provisions of the Abuja Declaration.

In the 2020 National Budget, the Health ministry was allocated $6,5 billion.

“The health allocation needs to be increased to 15 percent. That way, service delivery may be able to improve. The government must ensure that mining companies contribute towards the development of health institutions in the country,” Moyo added.

The Abuja Declaration stipulates that each African country should dedicate 15 percent of its annual budget to the health sector.

Moyo said the current allocation of 10,2 percent is gobbled up by salaries and leaves nothing for medication and other health resources.

“The health allocation needs to be increased to 15 percent. That way, service delivery may be able to improve. The government must ensure that mining companies contribute towards the development of health institutes in the country,” Moyo said.

Student leader Joseph Nyamayaro opined that the government must provide medical students with all the necessary equipment for them to conduct their research and lessons.

“Laboratories for medical students are ill-equipped. For them to conduct practical lessons, they buy their own resources. This is an expense to them, especially considering the high cost of living. The government needs to intervene on this issue and assist the students,” he said.

Youth representative Jacqueline Tshuma bemoaned the high rate of girl dropouts from school due to sexual reproductive health problems.

“The government must avail more clinics or facilities accessible to young girls to protect themselves from early pregnancy. Dropping out of school robs the children of their careers hence we risk being stuck with uneducated people in future,” she said.

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