Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe faces drug shortages

by Staff reporter
06 Nov 2023 at 04:57hrs | Views
The Zimbabwean government has declared a severe shortage of medicine and drugs in public hospitals, leaving patients reliant on private health facilities, according to Health and Child Care Minister Douglas Mombeshora, who made these statements during a recent pre-budget seminar in Parliament. He described the unavailability of medicine as distressing, emphasizing that the country is experiencing a significant crisis, particularly at lower-level healthcare facilities. He pointed out that the Ministry of Health requested a budget of US$129 million for 2023, but Treasury reduced the budget to US$52 million, creating a significant gap. Mombeshora appealed to Treasury to fulfill the ministry's requirements, indicating that they require approximately US$17 million worth of medicine every month.

Mombeshora also discussed the ministry's commitment to strengthening local drug manufacturers in the healthcare sector, revealing that they have implemented measures to reserve a range of products for local suppliers to provide NatPharm. He noted that many medical equipment items are outdated and have exceeded their operational lifespan, but due to financial constraints, they cannot be replaced in one go.

In 1985, the World Health Organization declared Zimbabwe's healthcare system one of the best in the developing world. However, years of underfunding, poor working conditions, and high levels of brain drain have reversed most of the progress, with over 4,000 healthcare workers, including doctors, leaving the country for better opportunities since 2021, as reported by Health Services Board Chairperson Paulinus Sikhosana.

Source - newsday