Residents hail BCC’s maternal care programme

BULAWAYO City Council

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has been lauded by residents for providing maternal care, through the urban voucher programme.

BCC’s director of health services, Edwin Sibanda said he had been working to ensure that residents had access to maternal care in the city.

“The urban voucher programme was piloted at Nkulumane District Clinic in 2014. Its uptake was exceptional as a lot of people accepted and took up the programme. I can also say that it has been great, however, we faced challenges as the funding cycles came to an end,” Sibanda said.

The Cordaid website said the implementation of the Urban Voucher Programme resulted in a reduction in maternal deaths, which were 2 000 per 100 000 children annually.

It focused on reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates in 18 rural districts, and helped to revitalise the national health system in Zimbabwe.

During this period, Cordaid; acting as a national purchasing agency and fund holder, contracted 366 health centres and 34 hospitals to provide defined sets of primary and secondary level healthcare services.

In 2014, Cordaid started implementing a results-based financing voucher programme to ensure quality maternal healthcare services for the disadvantaged in urban districts in Harare and Bulawayo.

In Bulawayo, Nkulumane District Clinic was chosen for the pilot programme.

Even though the programme produced the desired results, Sibanda emphasised the need for improvement and inclusion of more clinics for a more positive impact. “The inclusion of more clinics will hopefully improve both the quality of service and infrastructure at our facilities,” Sibanda said.

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