By Anyway Yotamu
The United States of America through USAID has announced that it is fully committed to improving the country’s health sector which is on its knees.
The challenges in the health sector are due to shortages of much-needed equipment in hospitals and the deteriorating economic hardships precipitated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw for over 4 months health personnel going for industrial action.
Speaking Thursday afternoon after a closed-door meeting with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who’s also the Health and Child Care Minister at Munhumutapa Building in Harare, the USAID International Development Mission Director, Mr. Arthur Brown said,
“We have met with the Vice President, to collaborate and develop objectives in the health sector. We’re committed to improving humanitarian progress in the country especially the Health sector, which is very important so that we focus on human resource issues to make sure health personnel is being paid. Resolving that issue is critical because we have critical health investments to be made and we need to make sure that the system is going to support the health needs of Zimbabweans,” Mr. Brown said.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the country’s health sector has been badly affected due to shortages of personal protective equipment to fight the deadly pandemic which saw more than 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s health personnel going on strike.
However, Mr. Brown assured the country that USAID is going to support the progress in improving the welfare of its health personnel and frontline workers who are working tirelessly to fight COVID-19 but without disclosing the amount of money they’re going to put.
“We’re here for the for the human progress so that it can be dealt with, so we need to support the health profession and frontline workers in the country.
“We have a government to government agreement as we work to support towards that aim to support and alleviate the health issues sector was badly affected by Covid-19”, said Mr. Brown.
The American government is one of the country’s biggest foreign funders amounting to US$3 billion a year in support of Zimbabwe.
Recently, soon after assuming the health portfolio, Vice President Chiwenga promised to revive the country’s health sector by what he described as a “Restructuring Process” which saw the striking nurses going back to work and the negotiations of their welfare resuming.