ICRC ends health support to local authorities

The International Committee of the Red Cross has ended its support for Zimbabwean local authority health initiatives, it has emerged.

This was revealed today in Harare by the Minister of Health and Child Care, David Parirenyatwa, while addressing delegates at the official shutdown of ICRC assistance to the capital’s municipality’s health programmes.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross supports countries in humanitarian crisis situations. Zimbabwe is no longer in that situation, hence the decision by ICRC to focus elsewhere,” said Minister of Health and Child Care, David Parirenyatwa.

“I implore councillors to continue prioritising health services in terms of budgetary support and other resources. The city is still exposed to several communicable diseases. We urge the city fathers to resolve the issues of the provision of portable water and good sanitation as a matter of urgency,” he added.

The ICRC officially stopped supporting 12 polyclinics and one hospital run by the council in the capital on 31 December 2013.

It started supporting the health centres in 2008.

The support which exceeded $3m included the provision of essential medicines, medical sundries, installation of 12 baby resuscitative machines, electricity invertors and generators to all 12 polyclinics, in addition to commissioning eight waste incinerators at maternity clinics.

The incinerators helped the Harare City Council save over $6,000 annually in bills previously paid to private companies.

The partnership also helped strengthen district and provincial health meetings and training on medicine stock management and midwifery skills.

ICRC spokesperson, Tendayi Sengwe said about 1.4 million people benefited from this partnership with local authorities in Chivi, Makoni and Tsholotsho districts, in addition Harare.

“The goal of the initiative was to enable skilled Zimbabwean medical personnel to carry on working at those facilities and continue to serve their communities,” he said.

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