Public Health Act (Amendment) Bill: Community participation crucial

Itai Rusike Correspondent The opportunity afforded to Zimbabweans to provide input into the supreme health law of the country is refreshing. It is important to have communities come out and participate during the public hearings on the Public Health Act (Amendment) Bill to ensure that their views and perceptions have been incorporated into the final Bill and that it addresses community needs as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution. Following a number of public health blunders that have seen resurgence of previously controlled diseases, unnecessary death, disability and suffering of Zimbabweans,…

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Health ministry bemoans poor budget

HARARE – The health sector’s $520 million 2018 budget allocation remains too low, despite Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa having increased it from $454 million, Health minister David Parirenyatwa said. He said there was a lot of damage, wear and tear at the hospitals that needs to be fixed. “Our target was $1,1 billion, it’s still not sufficient if you look at the number of repairs that are needed in our hospitals, just as an example. “Before I touch medicines, if you look at how many laundry machines countrywide have broken…

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Condoms, sanitary wear debate rages on

Sheillah Mapani Features Writer Every year, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) acquires condoms for free distribution to help fight the HIV and Aids pandemic. This has been hailed by stakeholders in the health sector as an important strategy to contain the spread of the disease. However, other keen watchers have decried the absence of similar approaches to sanitary wear which thousands of girls school going age cannot access, especially in rural areas. Some critics suggest that the money being allocated to acquiring condoms be directed to sanitary…

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Health budget needs to prioritise prevention

RECENTLY, a bombshell was dropped by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa when he told Parliament that he nearly transferred $20 million collected for the Health Levy Fund to the Consolidated Revenue Fund due to the Health and Child Care ministry’s failure to use it. BY VENERANDA LANGA MPs were shocked by Chinamasa’s statement, as the country’s health sector is in dire straits, with lack of adequate infrastructure and drugs. The fund is financed by Zimbabweans who are charged five cents per every dollar of airtime, which is channelled towards the health…

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Health fee scrapping brings relief

Pregnant mothers, children under five, and adults over 65 years are now exempt from medical fees

Pregnant mothers, children under five, and adults over 65 years are now exempt from medical fees The year 2018 began with Government implementing remedial health policy as part of the 100-day economic stimulus plan to make health services accessible to all. Included in the plan is the scrapping of medical fees for infants, senior citizens, pregnant and nursing mothers and slashing the price of blood to $50 at State-run institutions. The reprieve has been made possible by a more generous budgetary allocation from Treasury, which has brought relief to many…

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Harare faces lawsuit over poor water quality

Discoloured flow: A Harare resident shared an image of water form their tap. — Source :Twitter

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter Harare City Council faces a possible class lawsuit by residents who fear their health has been compromised by being forced to consume visibly contaminated water supplied to their homes by the local authority. The residents, through the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), a non-profit organisation, have called for the immediate resignation of city officials in charge of water and councillors who exercise oversight over the portfolio for failure to protect their interests. In an interview with The Herald yesterday, HRT director Mr Precious Shumba said local authorities…

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Govt to subsidise healthcare for the vulnerable

Government will use the Health Levy, which has so far received $22 million, to supply vital medicines and medical sundries required by health institutions to implement the free user-fee policy for vulnerable groups, Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji has said. The Health Levy is money realised from a 10 percent cellphone levy deducted from every $1 worth of airtime which was introduced by Treasury last year, half of which is channelled towards health. Responding to questions on Government’s source of funding for a successful free user-fee policy,…

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Govt directive plunges hospitals into crisis

HARARE – Public hospitals could be driven towards the brink of closure through the implementation of a long-standing government policy compelling them to offer free treatment to expecting mothers, children under the age of five, and citizens above the age of 65 years. This follows a recent directive issued by the ministry of Health and Child Care to all public health institutions that had hitherto been allowed by the administration of former president Robert Mugabe to recoup all their expenses from patients regardless of age or special condition in order…

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Enter the Year of Expectations

The year 2018 brings high expectations of resurgence — politically, socially and economically, with Zimbabweans’ hopes buoyed by the ushering in of a new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. For Zimbabwe, this year should see free and fair elections, improved health sector, enhanced agricultural production and social services delivery. Political analyst Mr Eldred Masunungure said the new political dispensation and new leadership had brought major expectations from the populace which the Government was expected to fulfil. “It is, however, impossible to fulfil all the expectations within a short period, but…

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