On 31 March 2023, the Acting World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Zimbabwe, Professor Jean- Marie Dangou paid a courtesy call on Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga. He was accompanied by Emergency Team Lead Dr Lincoln Charimari and the Health Systems Strengthening Team Lead Dr Stanley Midzi.
During the discussions, Dr Chiwenga highlighted areas affecting health service delivery in Zimbabwe. These include the shortage of human resources following the exodus of many health care workers to other countries and the ongoing cholera outbreak. He stressed the need for collaborative efforts to implement the National Health Strategy 2021-2025, noting that increased investments towards health will enhance concrete actions to build stronger and resilient health systems through Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to advance health for all.
Professor Dangou thanked Dr Chiwenga for the vibrant partnership between WHO and the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ). He acknowledged the efforts being made to promote better access to health care services through investment at primary care level. He recommended the need to increase Zimbabwe’s visibility at global and regional platforms, showcasing initiatives the country has implemented over the years to promote UHC and better health outcomes.
For instance, Zimbabwe’s HIV response has always been regarded as one of the best models, with many countries in the region visiting to learn from the approach.
In addition, several initiatives are being implemented, such as the WHO Package of Essential Non-communicable diseases intervention (PEN) to ensure people have access to services such as those for diabetes and hypertension at primary care level. Moreover, Zimbabwe is one of the focus countries for Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer, whose aim is to increase survival rates of children with cancer through strengthening cancer care and treatment at all levels of care.
Professor Dangou reiterated WHO’s committed towards supporting the GoZ through contributing to resource mobilization, building capacity of the health personnel, strengthening the institutional capacity and providing technical support for the implementation of initiatives that promote better access to services at primary health care level.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organzation (WHO) – Zimbabwe.