HEALTH and Child Care minister, David Parirenyatwa, has urged management at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) to ensure affordable blood is readily available for expecting mothers.
Speaking during a tour of the hospital on Wednesday, Parirenyatwa said: “We must make sure that pregnant women who need blood must get it and get it at a cheaper price because we strive to see change in these hospitals. We hope this will be achieved at the end of our programme which will end next month (100-day programme).”
BY ALEXIS SIBANDA
A substantial number of patients have over the years faced difficulties accessing blood due to exorbitant costs.
Last year, the National Blood Services Zimbabwe reduced the price of blood from $100 in government and mission health institutions to $80, with effect from November 1. The reduction saw public health institutions also slashing the prices in line with the reduction effected by NSBZ. At the beginning of the year the price of blood in public health institutions was further revised downwards to $50.
The Health ministry also set a 100-day target within which it is committed to dealing with cancer which is prevalent in the country.
Parirenyatwa said: “As a ministry, we were given 100 days to resuscitate our services and the top goal is to deal with cancer which is prevalent on the country.
“I am delighted that the First Lady is championing cancer prevention and treatment tops the list of the ministry’s 100-day plan,” he said.
Parirenyatwa said cervical cancer remains top killer disease in the country followed by breast cancer.
“We are fighting a rise in cancer cases and particularly cervical cancer which has become the biggest killer in the country, seconded by breast cancer in women,” he said.
Parirenyatwa said in the new dispensation, a lot needs to be achieved in the ministry and so far, the attitude of staff in hospitals is changing.
“Let us improve our causality departments so that patients do not to spend long hours there. We must also improve staffing levels and our attitude as the staff, be polite, smile and I want to say Amai we are already noticing those changes. It’s a process, but l have been noticing these changes,” he said.