News / Africa

Zimbabwe Pressured to Boost Health Care

A mother holds her child at Bikita Rural District Hospital, about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)
A mother holds her child at Bikita Rural District Hospital, about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)
At the height of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse, health care was one of the most affected sectors. Citing poor and frustrating working conditions, doctors and nurses left for countries like Great Britain and New Zealand, looking for greater professional opportunities.

The country's health sector continues to face challenges ranging from obsolete equipment, lack of essential drugs, inadequate staff--especially specialists--and high cost of services.

But senior government doctor Kudzai Masinire says much has changed since Western countries established the Health Transitional Fund, putting more than a half-billion dollars into reviving Zimbabwe's public health system.

“Since the coming of the HTF, most of the drugs, which were no longer available but critical for saving lives, are now available at most facilities at decent availability rates," Masinire said. "The HTF has also managed in retaining critical personnel across the country.”

Mothers line up with their children for treatment at Bikita Rural District Hospital about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)Mothers line up with their children for treatment at Bikita Rural District Hospital about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)
x
Mothers line up with their children for treatment at Bikita Rural District Hospital about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)
Mothers line up with their children for treatment at Bikita Rural District Hospital about 500 kilometers south of Harare. (Sebastian Mhofu for VOA)
However, Zimbabwe's current health budget of $380 million isn't sufficient to sustain the health care sector on its own.

Three years after the Health Transitional Fund was established, there is a growing feeling that if Zimabawe's government does not give higher priority to its own health care, it will not see much improvement, even with Western help.

E.U. health and HIV/AIDS adviser Dr. Paolo Barduagni spoke with journalists about HTF's progress and future.

The European Union is one of the fund's main donors and Barduagni says the government's minimal contribution toward its health system makes it difficult for the donor community to justify its existence in Zimbabwe.

“At this stage, I do not think there is a possibility to increase the international commitment towards Zimbabwe," Barduagni said. "First, there has to be a step ahead from the government, so without a commitment it will not be possible.”

Zimbabwe's health system was once one of the best in Africa, but Barduagni said for it to regain its former position, the government should prioritize hospital infrastructure development and improve on drug procurement.

While the government's health budget has improved salaries, the 2013 budget funds about two percent of the medical drugs Zimbabwe requires.

Zimbabwe Ministry of Health Pharmacies Director Ropafadzo Hove says the government is working to ensure an increase in health funding.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs