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Government, Unicef to launch free health access fund

Owing to the economic challenges facing the country, the health sector has been under a lot of strain making it difficult for many people to access life-saving health care.

 

Micaela De Sousa, the Unicef chief of communications at Unicef said women and children had been the most affected hence the intervention.

 

“For more than a decade now, Zimbabwe’s health sector has been under severe strain owing to years of economic challenges making it difficult for many people to access life-saving health care particularly women and children,” Sousa said.

 

The transition fund pooled from a number of donors seeks to reduce the high rates of maternal and child mortality by increasing access to health care.

 

“Among the many key strategies identified to realise this goal is the abolishment of user fees and improved access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care,” Sousa said.

 

The unregulated application of user fees has contributed to a decline in the coverage of key services with skilled birth attendance declining from 60% to 40% in the poorest one fifth of women over the past decade.

 

Since 2008, the availability of essential medicines in Zimbabwe’s public health sector has improved largely due to a funding collaboration between the government, Unicef and other private sector partners.

 

The launch of the fund at Marondera Provincial Hospital will be attended by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Health and Child Welfare minister, Henry Madzorera, Unicef country representative, Peter Salama and World Health Organisation representative, Custodia Mondlate.

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