HEALTH and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera last Friday said Zimbabwe had missed its United Nations-set Millenium Development Goal (MDG) targets, especially on reducing maternal mortality.
Addressing guests at the handover of 63 ambulances donated by the European Union in Harare, Madzorera said a lot still needed to be done to reduce the high maternal mortality rate which currently stands at 283 deaths per 100 000 live births.
“Statistics presented earlier clearly indicate that Zimbabwe is really off-track in reaching the MDGs targets,” said Madzorera.
“However, since 2009, the country has started experiencing some stability which, if well supported, can sustain a smooth transition to recovery and development, including strengthening of the health sector.”
MDG five relates to improvement of maternal health by 2015.
Madzorera said the donation of the ambulances would go a long way in improving the transport situation in the rural areas where patients had to travel long distances, hence putting themselves at risk when there are complications.
“Key priorities in the national health strategy and health investment case, the two key policy documents include ensuring health commodity security, provision of transport and strengthening the referral system,” said Madzorera.
Zimbabwe aims to reduce the maternal mortality ration by three quarters by 2015, which translates to 81 deaths per 100 000 live births.
Speaking at the same occasion, EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’ Ariccia said: “Our joint aim is making the ministry’s vision for 2020, achieving the highest possible level of health and quality of life for all Zimbabweans a reality.”