Monday, 30 October 2017

The poor State of Health in Zimbabwe's Hospitals

By Vimbai Chambara

The World Health Organization announced that Robert Mugabe would be the organisation's Goodwill Ambassador , a role reserved to those who have made much contribution to their communities and have the respect of those the people they will represent. I am curious that after much debate the honour was stripped from Mugabe however, how was this honour bestowed on him in the first place?  His regime have continuously creamed the vulnerable and in their hour of need push them into further despair as they watch loved one die due to raising costs of health care provision in Zimbabwe.

 Surely, Mugabe cannot ignore his governments’ failings to meet the health needs of his people. The regime boasts that Zimbabwe’s public health system provides health care services which are complemented by Mission hospitals and health care services supported by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, in recent years, economic decline and political instability have led to a reduction in health-care budgets, affecting provision at all levels.  The country’s health care sector has faced a shortage of professional staff, poor equipped hospitals, lack of medication and an erosion of the infrastructure of hospital infrastructure. Humanitarian crisis including HIV, cholera and measles epidemics, as well as poor services for children have exacerbated the breakdown of the medical response to the nation’s needs.
The state of Zimbabwe's Hospitals is very poor

Government run Harare, Mpilo and Parirenyatwa Hospital all face this dilemma brought about by political instability and chaos in the management of the health care system under Mugabe's watch. Vulnerable Zimbabweans  have witnessed services deteriorate further as the government failed to provide much needed substantial financial support to the health care system and introduced user fees for health care.

Health care services at public and private hospitals are a biased lottery system where those with money can afford treatment. These fees varying from provider to provider, a financial burden  and barrier for the most vulnerable citizens of Zimbabwe to access the most basic health services. A shocking example is that giving birth at a government hospital can cost up to USD 50 and 39 % of women are option to take risks and have their child at home without medical provision. Examining the current state and crisis of the health care services in Zimbabwe, how does the WHO insult vulnerable people in Zimbabwe by recognising Mugabe as a leader in promoting health? A man when employs poor strategies, inadequate polices and management putting every Zimbabwe at risk of imminent death due poor health care provision.

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