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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Zim reaffirms commitment towards universal health coverage

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has reaffirmed the country‘s commitment to ensuring universal health coverage and improving sexual reproductive health in line with the country’s constitution and sustainable development goals.

He was speaking at the official opening of the 20th edition of the International Inter-Ministerial Conference on South-South and Triangular Co-operation in Population and Development in Victoria Falls, this Monday.

Officially opening the conference, President Emmerson Mnangagwa highlighted the country’s progress in fulfilling the objectives of the International Conference on Population and Development.

“To date, the total population of Zimbabwe has doubled from 7.6 million in 1982 to 15 million in 2022. This increase in the population growth rate is attributable to an overally improved quality of life. Additionally, the decline in HIV and AIDS-related mortality rates owing to the increased availability of Anti-Retroviral Treatment as well as reduced mother-to-child HIV transmission has had positive impacts.

“Similarly, the fertility rate has steadily declined, while life expectancy at birth has increased due to comprehensive and coordinated socio-economic and health care interventions. Notably, females have a higher life expectancy compared to their male counterparts, while life expectancy has risen to 65 years,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa also noted the positive impact of increasing the number of medical training schools and decentralisation of specialist services.

“Zimbabwe remains committed to Universal Health Coverage. Remarkable progress has been made toward improving the availability and accessibility of Reproductive, Maternal, New Born Child and Adolescent Health services, at all levels of our society. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government of Zimbabwe successfully mobilized the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and rolled out a robust national vaccination programme.

“We continue adhering to the Family Planning 2030 Commitments and the Compact of Commitment about the provision of technical and financial resources for the family planning programmes. This has resulted in the domestic funding, for Family Planning, rising within the national health budget, from 1.7% in 2013 to 2.4% in 2022. Our national health budget allocation was at 14.9% in 2022, in line with the 15% aspiration outlined in the Abuja Declaration,” he said.

The two-day international conference which ends this Tuesday brings together cabinet Ministers, experts, and representatives of development partners from across the globe to find common ground on priority actions to attain health-related sustainable development goals.

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