Zimbabwe’s public health services sector is standing on the knife edge as almost all drug supplies are being provided by non-State humanitarian agencies.
A principal director in the Health and Child Care ministry, Gibson Mhlanga, last week revealed that about 98 percent of drug stocks to government hospitals and clinics came from development partners.
He was speaking at an all-stakeholders’ meeting at NatPharm in Harare.
“As government, we know that development partners are contributing about 98 percent of our available medicines in all our public health institutions,” he said.
The principal director in charge of preventive services also acknowledged that government was struggling to raise adequate funds for the procurement of drugs.
“While there are resource constraints, the will and commitment is there… Government has responded favourably by allocating funds, though not adequate, to the ministry (of Health and Child Welfare),” said Mhlanga.
President Robert Mugabe recently threatened to lead Africa’s pullout from the United Nations (UN), accusing it of failing to meaningfully reform.
Such a pullout would imply the departure of UN agencies like the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which are considered crucial at a time Zimbabwe faces a stinging economic crisis.
Treasury has been battling to collect revenue that has made it difficult for government to pay the army and civil servants on time, while a cash crisis that manifested in April worsens.
Most hospitals are operating with poorly paid staff while essential equipment is depleted.