The Health Professions Authority Zimbabwe is one of the best examples of regulatory bodies in Africa, as it is known for promoting high quality health care, the World Health Organisation has said.
Addressing over 300 delegates to the HPA annual congress recently, WHO Country Representative Dr David Okello said the authority was enhancing the vision of upholding high standards in health care delivery.
He said HPA was doing well in co-ordinating and regulating activities of health professionals in Zimbabwe.
“In recognition of the high organisational set-up and services of the Health Professions Authority Zimbabwe, WHO has facilitated study tours to Zimbabwe for some African countries that were planning to set up or strengthen their health professional governing bodies,” said Dr Okello.
“Health Professions Authority has been instrumental in advocating for health professionals to take seriously the issue of medical ethics such as proper diagnosis, treatment and prescriptions, as well as to go for normal delivery instead of rushing for Caesarean sections.”
HPA is a body corporate established in terms of the Health Professions Act to regulate health professionals and health institutions in Zimbabwe.
Dr Okello, who was the guest speaker at the annual congress, also said HPA was playing a significant role in improving the health conditions of Zimbabweans.
He said despite the challenging economic hardships and dwindling allocations of the National Budget to health, recent statistics indicated that mortality rate for children and maternal mortality was decreasing.
The mortality rate for children under five years dropped from 84 per 1 000 live births in 2010 to 75 per 1 000 live births in 2014, while maternal mortality which reached 960 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010 dropped by one thirds to 614 deaths per 100 000 births in 2014.
Dr Okello emphasised the need to address emerging health challenges of non-communicable diseases.
The non-communicable diseases are surpassing HIV and Aids as the leading cause of death in Zimbabwe.
Dr Okello underscored the need to determine the burden of non-communicable diseases in order to design effective intervention mechanism.
On efforts to tame and reverse the brain drain of health professionals, Dr Okello said WHO had been spear heading dialogue with developed countries to seek how best to help developing countries retain their healthcare professionals, whilst allowing systematic migration on win-win arrangements.
A new HPA board headed by specialist orthopedic surgeon Dr Adolf Macheka, who is also chairman of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe, was unveiled at the annual congress.
Other members of the board are vice president Ms Tendai Wenyika, Health and Child Care ministry permanent secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji, Mr Unity Marvellous Chitapi, Mr Dombo Chibanda, Mr Erick Revai Chiro, Mrs Debra Machando and Mrs Lillian Gertrude Dodzo.
The other members are Mr Ranganai Charles Mubvumbi, Mrs Chuma Hope Vunganayi, Mrs Rosewitter Mudarikwa, Reverend Forbs Matonga, Mr Henry Musongwe and Mrs Patronella Takawadiyi-Musarurwa.
HPA was established in 2001 and plays major roles including acting as the umbrella body for health profession councils, acting as an appealing body for any dispute between health practitioners and their councils and protection of public interest.
The authority works with health service providers to encourage them to increase the number of health institutions, both public and private, in remote rural areas and advocates for cost effective health services for the poor to access universal health care.