Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
GOVERNMENT has launched the Health Resilient Fund to address challenges in the country’s health delivery system, with focus on reproductive and adolescent health and nutrition.
The Health Resilient Fund which takes over from the Health Development Fund is a health pooled fund worth US$90 million which will be disbursed over the next three years to improve the country’s health sector.
Officially launching the Health Resilience Fund and two key government documents, the National Health Strategy 2021 – 2025 with its accompanying investment case and the Health Sector Coordination Framework, Acting President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister, said the fund is designed to ensure a resilient and sustainable health system.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care is committed to supporting the implementation of the Health Resilience Fund programme in the same way it has supported its predecessor programmes, that is, the Health Transition Fund, Integrated Support Programme and Health Development Fund. The Health Resilience Fund is a health-pooled fund with financial commitments of about US$90 million over the next three years,” he said.
Funding partners, heads of agencies, the UN family and diplomats commended the Zimbabwean government for prioritising the health sector.
“The HDF previously and the current HRF were designed to improve health systems resilience to shocks, equitable access to quality health care in Zimbabwe, with special emphasis on women, new-borns, children, adolescents, youth and health emergencies. The support includes also essential medicines, support to institutions, healthcare facilities and health workers, including health awareness programmes. It is important to emphasise that the Health Development Fund and now, the Health Resilience Fund, are synergising and building on National Health Investments all of which are contributing to reducing maternal mortality and under-5 mortality,” said H.E Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, H.EMelanie Robinson said “Under the health development fund we recorded milestones which include a decline in maternal health we also bought solar powered fridges.”
“In line with the mantra of H.E. President Mnangagwa that “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” (“A nation is built by its owners”), it’s important to increase public spending in the health sector for the attainment of universal health coverage that ensures that no one and no place is left behind. This implies in line with regional and global best practices that government must bear the greatest burden in terms of health financing.
“We welcome the fact that Government spending on health and child care as a percentage of total public expenditure is projected to increase from 10. 6% in 2022 to 11.2% in 2023. This means that Zimbabwe may be in a position to double the per capita health spending,” explained European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Jobst Von Kirchmann.
Zimbabwe, like other countries, is committed to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it relates to women and children.
Through concerted efforts from government and its partners, the country recorded a reduction in maternal and under-five children’s deaths.
Maternal mortality ratio decreased from 462 to 363 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2019 and 2022.
Under-five mortality has also declined from 65 to 39.8 deaths per 1,000 live births during the same period.