UK pumps money into Zimbabwe health sector

The British government has injected 74 million (around 120 million USD) money that will be channeled towards maternal and child health and is expected to save lives.

Of the money around 80 million USD is earmarked to support the Health Transition Fund (HTF), a fund that seeks to eliminate user fees for women and children and ultimately save more than 30,000 lives among children under five and pregnant women.

Maternal mortality has doubled since 1990 and now stands at 790 per 100,000 live births; this means that 8 women are dying every day while giving life. In addition, 100 children are dying every day, mainly due to preventable diseases, and around one-third of children are stunted.

"There is no doubt that the poorest women and children have borne the brunt of the decline in health service delivery over the past decade.

However, significant progress has been made in recent years.

Abolishing user fees for pregnant women and children under 5 and strengthening the quality and reach of services will save even more lives,"

UNICEF country representative Peter Salama said.

Over the past 3 years, efforts made by the Inclusive Government, combined with investments by international donor partners, have made a difference to the once ailing health sector.

Initiatives that include supplementing health worker salaries and supply the basic package of essential medicines have resulted in the improvements in the health sector.

While five years ago drugs we in constant short supply latest data show that there are no major stock-outs of drugs and vaccines across the country and more than 90% of the 1400 facilities have the majority of required commodities.

Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr. Henry Madzorera said that no doubt the Bristish government cash injection will help accelerate the health sector total recovery notwithstanding challenges that are still present.

"Many challenges still remain in our efforts to provide access to quality health services across the country, (but) the Health Transition Fund will accelerate our efforts to bring Zimbabwe's Health Sector back on its feet; I am confident that this significant grant from the UK government will accelerate progress on the health-related MDGs.

Over the past 4 years, the United Kingdom has invested more than 100 million USD through UNICEF in Zimbabwe. This support has contributed to major national results such as ensuring every child in the country has a full set of core textbooks, ensuring a guaranteed national supply of essential medicines, providing multi-sectoral support to over 500,000 orphans and vulnerable children and payment for school fees for an additional 500,000, and helping to prevent another major cholera outbreak.

Dave Fish Head of Department for International Development Zimbabwe expressed confidence that cooperation between the UK and the ministry of health will continue.

"This contribution from the United Kingdom is a clear demonstration of our commitment to rebuilding the health sector and expanding our support to the social services in Zimbabwe. We are confident that our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and UNICEF will continue to deliver for the most vulnerable people in Zimbabwe."

Post published in: Africa News

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