UN, WHO back VP Chiwenga’s health strategy

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THE United Nations (UN) and other health development partners, including the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO), have expressed hope over Vice President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga’s new health restructuring strategy, saying this could lead to the recovery of the sector.

This comes as the country’s health sector has been bedevilled by striking workers and shortages of medication and medical equipment.
Giving an update on the meeting which was held between the government of Zimbabwe and its health development partners last week, UN Zimbabwe indicated on its official Twitter account that development partners had appreciated the new health restructuring strategy.
“In his meeting with health development partners and the UN, Hon VP Constantino Chiwenga said the new vision of Zimbabwe’s national healthcare system aims to reflect international best practices consistent with the national aspiration to become an upper middle-income country by 2030.
“To achieve the new vision of Zimbabwe health care, … Chiwenga said restructuring of the ministry of Health and Child Care was being undertaken with main objectives being efficiency, effectiveness, integrity and integration of the ministry with national institutions, and creating a new working culture.
“Noting Zimbabwe’s high health import bill, … Chiwenga said the ministry of Health … will work to reverse import bill burden by ensuring local treatment and creating medical tourism facilities. This will require harnessing the skilled clinical labour force for quality health service delivery,” the UN said.
Appreciating the forward leaning vision that … Chiwenga enunciated for the health sector, World Bank country manager (Mukami) Kariuki said that the National Development Strategy that the government of Zimbabwe was working on offers a unique opportunity for linkages across relevant sectors to build synergy.
“Noting that (the coronavirus) Covid-19 threatens to reverse the gains made over the years in health sector unless confronted jointly, WHO Zimbabwe representative Alex Gasasira expressed hope that the new ministry of Health … vision would effectively tackle Covid-19, recover back better and leave no-one behind,” the UN added.
Meanwhile, the Swedish Embassy and European Union (EU) indicated that they would see how they could support front-line health workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and remuneration top-ups to ensure effective care service.
This comes as Chiwenga last week announced the restructuring of the country’s health system into nine divisions, adding that an overall increase for the health sector specific allowance would be effected by the government to end doctors and nurses’ industrial action over poor remuneration among other things.6

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