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Chiwenga goes after fake Covid-19 certificates conmen

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2020 at 01:02hrs | Views
VICE President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga has vowed to bring to book people who are selling fake Covid-19 certificates.

Zimbabweans intending to travel out of the country are required to get tested about 48 hours before leaving while some companies also demand that their workers produce Covid-19 certificates before they return to work as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

But with a PCR test costing between US$50 and US$65 at legitimate clinics and hospitals, some Zimbabweans are buying fake Covid-19 certificates, a development that has irked the Health minister.

Speaking during the second day of the pre-budget seminar on Friday last week, Chiwenga said people behind the fake Covid-19 certificates would be arrested.

"We had people who tried to issue fake certificates. Unfortunately they did not know how those certificates were issued. We will bring them to book, but we also ask that our people learn to be honest," said Chiwenga.

"We are still investigating. As a ministry we issued a statement and have advised the nation (on the matter)."

Meanwhile, the vice president revealed that the Health ministry has developed a dedicated health financing policy and strategy to ensure sustainable funding for the health sector as well as the efficient utilisation of scarce resources.

Chiwenga  said his ministry is determined to revamp the health sector so that high quality services are as close to the people as possible.

"My ministry is accelerating the establishment of a national health insurance scheme which is anticipated to be financed from various sources, which will also assist institutions to procure medication.

"My target is that no one should travel more than five kilometres to seek a health facility. Therefore I fully support the proposal from the public that the government should construct more hospitals to decongest higher levels of care and we have created additional specialist posts at our district and provincial hospitals," he said.

As part of efforts to decongest health facilities, the Health minister said more hospitals and clinics will be established.

"Plans are in place to establish new facilities countrywide and these include new clinics, district hospitals while two provincial hospitals in Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland North are under construction" said Chiwenga.

The vice president, who implored the government to honour the Abuja Declaration of 2000 which stipulates that the health budget must be 15 percent of total expenditure and not the current nine percent, wants the government to quickly increase funding for programmes that are currently donor-dependent.

"Government should set up a health scheme to support chronic ailments such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension, among others, in  the same way it is supporting HIV patients who are getting free and affordable medicines," said Chiwenga.

Source - Daily News