Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
Government has pledged to be innovative and always on hand to curb threats posed by Covid-19 in the country’s quest to attain high health standards for citizens.
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said this at a high-level meeting between Government and the Global Fund yesterday.
“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a threat to the gains made so far and together we should be innovative and come up with interventions which will mitigate against the negative impact of Covid-19,” said VP Chiwenga.
The Global Fund is one of Government’s strategic partners in the provision of health services.
Zimbabwe is working on revamping its health services to meet global standards and in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 which seeks to make the country an upper middle income economy.
VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe’s vision was to attain high standards of health services and with support from the Global Fund and other partners, significant strides had been made in improving the health system.
He thanked the Global Fund for making huge investments into Zimbabwe to complement Government efforts in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
“The Global Fund remains the major donor in the health sector in Zimbabwe. On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health in particular, I would want to express our most profound appreciation for the immeasurable support we get from the Global Fund.
“I would want to thank the senior management team at the Global Fund secretariat and the country team for working tirelessly to ensure that Zimbabwe gets the support it needs and providing the necessary technical support,” said VP Chiwenga.
VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe was on course to achieve and even surpass the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.
Statistics show that 86,6 percent of people living with HIV know their status and 97 percent of them receive anti-retrovirals (ARVS), and those on ART, 90,3 percent achieved viral suppression.
TB incidence has been on the decline from 304 cases per 100 000 in 2013 to 199 cases per 100 000 in 2019. TB-related mortality has declined by almost 50 percent from 42 per 100 000 in 2013 to 24 per 100 000 in 2019.
Government has also made telling investments in health-related infrastructure and the VP announced the completion of the Masvingo National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) warehouse, as well as the construction of Mutare NatPharm warehouse which will open soon.
VP Chiwenga said NatPharm remained the single procurement storage and distribution entity in the public sector.
“It has been able to deliver its mandate in the past and I am confident it is returning to its prescribed mandate.”
He said the board and the management team would be in place in the next few months and assured that NatPharm would soon be a jewel of the country.