Thursday, 5 November 2020

CHIWENGA : DONOR DEPENDENCY IS A SECURITY RISK

Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister, has expressed concern over reliance on donors as the situation poses a security threat to the country.

VP Chiwenga said this while presenting a paper titled; “Public health and national security” at the Zimbabwe National Defence University.

“Resources and funding of public health is also a potential security risk area. Have you ever imagined what would happen if foreign investment dwarfs local investment in public health care delivery? This in itself, could be a security concern,” he said.

“The more a country’s health system is dependent on foreign support, the greater the risk of disruption, should such support be withdrawn suddenly, for whatever reason.”

VP Chiwenga added: “We do have a well configured health care system framework. We also now have the relevant policies and strategies in place. However, the delivery of quality and affordable services can be compromised by lack of support and capacitation, particularly from domestic resources, which are inherently more sustainable than donor support.”

Government has deliberately put the welfare and wellness of health care employees at the top of priorities. VP Chiwenga also shed more light on the temporary ban on elections in line with WHO guidelines.

“The development, which is clearly meant to prevent spread of the pandemic, was characteristically misconstrued by some opposition political actors in the country.

“Some members of a prominent opposition party in Zimbabwe took to the streets to demonstrate in Warren Park, Harare. The temporary ban on holding of elections was also misinterpreted as Government’s attempts to stifle the opposition,” he said.

Such misdemeanours had potential to escalate unnecessary political tension in the country and compromise political security.

“To counter such cheap propaganda, we have instituted the National Health Information System as a key strategy.

“Thus, although the Government is honestly concerned about the well-being of the people, some sections among the society allege that they lost their personal security in the process.”

VP Chiwenga said the ministry was aiming at rapidly expanding health care services especially in new settlements.

“Let me point out at this stage that the land redistribution exercise resulted in new settlements, which the Ministry must cater for. “Plans to further decentralise through the creation of a ward-based health post, will be rolled out in the next few months,” he said.

VP Chiwenga said the recently refurbished and re-equipped radiotherapy centres at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Mpilo would provide relief to cancer patients, but still remained inadequate to effectively cover the nation.

“Ideally, each province should have its own radiotherapy centre, a vision that the ministry is pursuing in its restructuring programme,” he said. Herald

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