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Saturday, June 22, 2024

WHO commits to strengthening Zim’s healthcare sector

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it will continue putting in place measures to strengthen and safeguard the country’s healthcare sector in line with the country’s national health strategy.

The acting WHO country representative, Professor Jean- Marie Dangou this Friday paid a courtesy call on Vice President General Rtd Dr Constantino Chiwenga where they discussed several issues ranging from brain drain to cholera cases and health sector funding

“We went through a panorama of the health situation in Zimbabwe focusing mainly on the national health strategy, its implementation, and how best WHO can support the country to implement successfully the National Health Strategy 2021-2025. There were discussions around a few main topics like raising Zimbabwe’s visibility at regional and global levels when it comes to health matters. Zimbabwe has a lot to share with the African continent and the entire world, so we discussed that topic.

“So we also discussed a topic around the health workforce from Zimbabwe to other African countries as well as to Europe and the Americas. We will in the coming months inform largely around what are the strategies to be implemented so that the national health system can continue functioning even if part of its workforce has been hired by other countries. We also discussed other areas like the cholera outbreak hitting the country,” he said.

Zimbabwe together with eight other countries was last week added to the WHO health workforce support and safeguard lists, bringing the total number of countries on the list to 55, a move which Professor Dangou says will protect the country’s health system

“The red list is the ward list so WHO has analysed the national health systems all around the world and we have realised that in many countries more than 50 countries today the health system is suffering because the manpower is being hired by other countries. So they are moving the manpower from the country to other countries and to avoid that and to make the national health systems more resilient and more sustainable, we have issued that list for those fragile countries in terms of the exodus of manpower and we are now trying to engage with all parties to avoid moving those experts out of the country or find some kind of agreement between the receiving country and the country where the experts are going to. We are trying to protect the health system of the country.”

Professor Dangou came to Zimbabwe in February 2023 following the departure of Dr Alex Gasasira whose term of office had ended.

He was the NCD programme coordinator at the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville.

He also held the country representative portfolio in Guinea, Gambia and Zambia.

A medical doctor by profession Dr Dangou, specialised in Histopathology, cytology and epidemiology, among other areas.

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