‘Lack of political will exposing people to killer diseases’

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A LOCAL public health lobby group, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), says lack of political will to effectively address serious concerns affecting the health sector has left millions of people exposed to killer diseases.

Feluna Nleya
Staff Reporter

The group cited the country’s heavy dependency on donor funding to support the health sector as a ticking time bomb.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, CWGH director Itai Rusike said the country needed a vibrant health sector for the good of the people which was being affected by lack of political will among the leaders.

“The biggest challenge we are facing is an underperforming economy, skewed priorities and lack of political will to get projects in the health sector implemented,” Rusike said.

Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa is on record saying the government was planning to construct two district hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo to ease pressure at the main public hospitals.

But Rusike said the project had been on the drawing board since independence in 1980 because of lack of political will by government.

“The proposal to build district hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo has been discussed since the early days of independence when our economy was at its peak and it has remained on the drawing board without any implementation,” Rusike said.

“It will be a huge challenge for both the government and the concerned local authorities to build the hospitals in the current economic environment when most of the hospitals and clinics are in a dilapidated state with obsolete equipment in urgent need of replacement.”

“My advice to the authorities is to use the little available resources to make our public health system functional again like what it used to be.”

Rusike said the idea to upgrade the existing polyclinics to a district hospital rather than construct new facilities was the best option.

“Resources are needed most in the existing clinics and hospitals that are failing to provide quality service in line with the provisions in the new Constitution that now guarantees the right to health that unfortunately is only on paper and yet to be enjoyed by the majority of the population that depends on public health delivery,” Rusike said.

“We definitely need district hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo as primary health care has always been poor in these urban areas with patients directly presenting themselves at central hospitals such as Parirenyatwa and Mpilo without following the referral chain with cases that should be dealt with at lower levels thereby suffocating the central system and increasing the workload.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. By the same token would it not be in the interest of economies of scale for Bob to take with him to Singerpore all sick Cabinet ministers in that big plane of his? The great referal hospital for the endowed.

  2. Much respect given to the group CWGH, to highlight these issues in zimbabbwe.Its sad to note that the health of poor zimbabwean populace has been put at risk over a longtime due to some msiguided priporities on the part of those voted to represent the common people.However its never to late the emphasis should be on health for all zimbabweans as a matter of urgency.Clean water for all is a must.Let the ministers of the respective ministries be accountable for the innocent lives lost due to diseases caused by drinking contaminated water.CGWH we support you forward ever for good health and clean water.thats the first priority for a developing nation.

  3. Thank u Mr Rusike for your immense contributions towards our country’s health system i hope your contributions will be implemented accordingly for a better Zimbabwe health delivery system

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