Zvamaida Murwira in NEW YORK, United States
Government is set to construct over 6 000 health centres in the next five years as it seeks to ensure that everyone accesses services without travelling for long distances, the President has said.
He said while the Government remains committed to ensuring health services for all its citizens, illegal sanctions imposed by the United States (US) and European Union (EU)remain stumbling blocks to the fulfilment of the objective.
President Mnangagwa said this here while addressing a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage during the 74th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that started yesterday.
“While we have made significant strides in ensuring that no one should travel more than 10km to reach a health service, some communities still have limited access to health facilities,” said President Mnangagwa.
“My Government is therefore constructing health posts, clinics and hospitals in remote areas to address this challenge. A total of 6 600 health posts will be constructed over the next five years.
“The current challenge is to modernise primary healthcare. Sadly, however, our efforts are being greatly hampered by the ruinous illegal sanctions imposed on our country.”
The President said Zimbabwe continues to addresses gaps that exist in the health delivery system, for universal health coverage.
“Our national development agenda, the National Health Strategy 2016-2020 under the theme, ‘Equity and Quality: Leave no one behind’, attests to this commitment”, he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government launched the Health Financing Policy in 2018, with the aim of reinvigorating Zimbabwe’s health delivery system through robust and sustainable domestic health funding.
He said in addition to the Aids Levy, Government has introduced a Health Levy.
Zimbabwe has also embarked on setting up a National Health Insurance which will help improve access to many more people, especially those in the informal sector.
Said President Mnangagwa: “Our programs prioritising maternal, neonatal and child health have seen remarkable increase in access to basic quality care services.”
He said his Government was aware of the need to collaborate with development partners, for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
“There are, therefore, opportunities for the establishment of independent private hospitals and medicine manufacturing plants.
“Zimbabwe indeed is open for business in the health sector,” said President Mnangagwa.
He implored stakeholders to facilitate greater investments in research and development and technological transfer in order to enhance accessibility to and affordability of medicines for universal coverage.
The meeting was attended by Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo and senior Government officials.