Health seeking behaviours decrease as poverty worsens

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WORSENING poverty levels have, in the last three years, led to a decrease in the number of people who seek medical attention when they fall sick, the 2019 Mini Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey (PICES) has revealed.

According to the survey done by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency and partners, those who were able to seek health services could not pay for them during the study period.

World Bank senior economist Rob Swinkels, during the launch of the findings, said health seeking behaviours have declined both in urban and rural areas due to serious poverty.

“In 2017, the proportion of people who got sick during the 30 days (of the survey) for rural populace was 12 percent increasing to 16 percent in 2019. For the urban areas, about 10 percent reported falling sick over the 30 days in 2017 and the figure rose to 14 percent in 2019.”

To make matters worse, hospital fees and drugs prices went up beyond the reach of many cash-strapped Zimbabweans, some of which are surviving on less than a US$1 and one meal per day.

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