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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Free primary health care services for most parts of Zimbabwe

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

ZIMBABWE is making significant strides towards attaining universal health coverage through the provision of free primary health care services at most health facilities across the country.

The government is working to achieve this in collaboration with the European Union, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO through the Health Resilience Fund.

The initiative is aimed at improving the health care for women and children, by providing essential services such as immunisation, antenatal care, delivery, postnatal care, family planning, nutrition, and treatment of common diseases.

One of the clinics offering free health care services is Rutenga Rural Health Centre in Mwenezi District, and the community has nothing but praise for the facility.

“I am suffering from tonsillitis and have received treatment which includes an injection and some pills. All this was done for free. We would like to commend the government and its partners for this facility which is now offering us free treatment as this enables us to get treatment early and the treatment is very nice and top notch,” said a community member.

Another said, “Some of us travel long distances to this health centre which is actually the nearest and we have to fork out bus fare so by giving us free treatment they have lessened our burden.”

According to Rutenga Rural Health Centre’s Sister Christina Lisimati, the Health Resilient Fund has been instrumental in enabling the free services.

“Through this fund we are able to procure drugs needed by the patients. We are also able to procure some of the clinic’s requirements which include buying linen and furniture. Services offered to the patients for free includes lab tests, medication. Our disease burden is mainly diarrhoeal diseases as well as respiratory conditions on both children and adults,” she said.

The channelling of resources towards primary health care has assisted in building health systems resilience to prepare for, respond to and recover from shocks and crises as the country targets universal health coverage.

According to the latest universal health coverage index, Zimbabwe is at 55% which is above the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 46%.

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