Six horror facts about Zimbabwe’s healthcare

The Zimbabwe government’s investment in the health sector has been inadequate and the country has generally depended on donor support and direct budget support to run the public health institutions.

The health sector has as a result failed to provide adequate services to the people especially those do not have medical insurance. The crisis in the health sector is dramatised by these six horror facts about the state of the health sector.

1. No medical aid
medical iad zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has no national health insurance system despite promises by the government to, come up with Health Insurance Scheme.

MORE than 11 million Zimbabweans, representing 90% of the population have no access to medical aid. The country has no national health insurance system despite promises by the government to, come up with Health Insurance Scheme.

2. $20/person annually
twenty dollars
This is to say that the Zimbabwean government intends to spend on average just over $22 on an individual this year.

This year, the government has allocated $301 million to the health sector for a country of 13,5 million. This is to say that the government intends to spend on average just over $22 on an individual this year. Compare this with $650 for South Africa, $90 Botswana, $390 Botswana and $200 Angola.

3. Crib deaths
baby_cooperation
The Zimbabwe Demographic Survey results released last year shows that 84 children out of a 1000 under are likely to die before they reach the age of five.

The country’s infant mortality rate: at 57/1,000 live births is one of the highest in the world. Infant mortality rate is the number of infants dying before reaching one year of age. The Zimbabwe Demographic Survey results released last year shows that 84 children out of a 1000 under are likely to die before they reach the age of five.

4 .Maternal mortality rate: 960/100,000 live birth

Some-of-the-pregnant-women-in-waiting-rooms
About 1000 women out of 100 000 die during giving birth. The major causes of maternal mortality are bacterial infection, uterine rupture (scar from a previous caesarean section tearing during an attempt at birth), renal and cardiac failure as well as hyperemesis gravidarum (condition characterised by severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss during pregnancy).

At Independence in 1980, the country had a low maternal mortality rate of just 90 per 100 000 live births. However, in 1994 the gains in the health sector plummeted to 253 per 100 000 live births. As if this was not enough, a more frightening situation was still to come.

5 . Just.1.6 Doctors per 10,000 people

govt-hospital
Zimbabwe has suffered immensely from a brain drain of doctors. There are now 1,6 doctors for every 10 000 people. Most government rural health centres are manned by two doctors who have to perform multiple tasks. Linked to this, there are just seven nurses and trained midwives for every 10 000 people in the country.

The paucity of medical staff is also reflected in the number of specialist doctors. The country has four neurosugeons, two heart surgeons, three dermatologists and one venereologist according to data is Zanu PF’s 2013 election manifesto..

6 Donor-funded medicines

DRUGS TABLES PILLS

Due to poor funding of the health sector, 98% of drugs used in public health centres are funded by donors. The donor community has also equipped a number of rural health centres such that Zimbabwe now has the uncanny distinction of patients shunning main referral hospitals to be treated in rural hospitals.

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7 Comments

  1. Even those of us on medical aid are faced with crazy medical charges as shortfalls from doctors. I am pregnant with the possibility of a cesar and the doctor tells me only now that i’ll have to pay $800 shortfall for my baby to be born. zvakaoma. if i become a statistic it because of the greed of those who are meant to be custodians of my health.

    1. I was at Harare hospital Outpatient Emergency room early this month, a gentleman probably involved in an accident came in with a gaping head injury, Part of his scalp was open in the middle, blood gushing on his white t-shirt.

      The staff inside told him to go to the police stationed at the mortuary to report his case – after a while he came back and he was instructed to go to the accounts department to discuss how he was going to pay for treatment before they could treat him.

      He came back for the third time – they asked him to go outside to the red cross kiosk to buy a small notebook for doctor’s notes and prescription. Unbelievable!

  2. That is why Mugabe says “takanga tanovhenekwa kunze kwenyika” to pple who call him Supreme Leader. Pliz watch the movie DICTATOR, u will learn of Aladeen who is typical of this scenario!

  3. Where do you get the list of causes of maternal deaths? It is completely different from what is generally reported.

  4. Onw word perfectly describes this scenario, ” chaos” will do.

  5. As lazy Zimbabweans, we need to just stop whining about work and healthcare, and just go out and get a good paying job with health coverage like the rest of us. Our country is getting more prosperous by the day and our future is brighter than ever. We don’t need the evil West and their allies to interfere in our healthcare system as we don’t want their Western medicines being used against us. Pamberi neZANU; pasi nevarungu.

    1. Tonderai I can’t believe you honestly believe what you’ve just written because its not based on fact. FACT – You’re probably in the 2% of the population that can afford healthcare and everyone else? They can’t get a good paying job because the economy is dead. Which rock are you living under? Things are beyond bad and as should just see it as it is and start making moves to improve them. Countries that have been through World wars were in a better state than Zim is now. FACT – People are dying and its on the hands of your beloved ZANU.

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