By Josephine Mugiyo
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government will do everything possible to ensure the health sector receives the necessary support to improve service delivery.
President Mnangagwa, who addressed the media from Niger where he attended the African Union summit, spoke on how the health sector has suffered due to illegal sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies.
Zimbabwe has however put in place mechanisms to boost the key sector with President Mnangagwa describing the COVID-19 pandemic as a wakeup call for Zimbabwe and the Continent to ensure governments are always prepared.
“The health sector back home suffered particularly because of two decades of sanctions and so our health coverage had gone down. Now the attack which came not only to Zimbabwe, but the rest of the world, has given us the awakening bell to say please, please wake up. Always prepare yourselves because we don’t know whether this COVID-19 is the last one,” he said.
The President added that the focus is now on channelling more resources towards the health sector.
“We are now focusing on making sure that our health sector is attended to. If you look at the budget, we have upped our investment in the health sector. It is because we feel when the COVID-19 pandemic came about, Zimbabwe never was isolated. We never received any significant amount from outside. We had to depend on our own domestic resources and diverted funds from other projects to make sure our people are taken care of. And in fact, we did very well to ensure we mitigate the effect of COVID-19. We are making sure to be ready for any other pandemic, but we are also making sure our health sector is attended to.”
To show the government’s commitment, the health sector received the second highest purse in the 2023 national budget after getting more than ZW$400 billion.