GNU spends $9/person on health

The broke Government of National Unity is currently spending only $9 per person on health, much less than the $34 per person recommended by the World Health Organisation, a senior United Nations official, has confirmed.

Mothers wait to give birth at a shelter.
Mothers wait to give birth at a shelter.

The UN official said in an interview, that the $34 per person figure was recommended by the WHO’s Macroeconomic Commission on Health, as well as the 15 percent target agreed to in the African Union Abuja Declaration.

“An estimated $436 million is required by Zimbabwe over a five year period to strengthen the health system and improve maternal, newborn and child health to achieve the goals set through the new Health Transition Fund,” he said.

The HTF was launched by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in Marondera at the dilapidated Marondera Provincial Hospital amid much pomp and fanfare. This Fund supports the Zimbabwe National Health Strategy (2009-2013) and the Health Investment Case (2010-2012), which are key strategies, put in place to accelerate efforts towards achieving Zimbabwe’s health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UN says the HTF is the first major national programme in the health sector that integrates maternal and child survival, HIV and nutrition programmes within a health system strengthening approach.

According to the UN official, every day in Zimbabwe 100 children under five and eight mothers die from “mostly preventable causes”. He said the country’s maternal ratio had more than doubled since 1990 to 790 per 100 000, live births under five mortality had increased by 20 percent to 98 per 1 000 live births over the past 10 years.

“One third of Zimbabwean children are stunted or undernourished and around 12 000 under-five deaths per year are due to nutritional disorders,” the official said.

The UN official said the HTF, therefore, aimed to contribute to reduced maternal mortality by three quarters, as laid out in the MDG Number 4, and reduced under five mortality by two thirds, as outlined in MDG Number 5, by 2015.

Post published in: Health

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