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Mujuru party condemns government for running down health institutions

by Stephen Jakes
17 Oct 2016 at 06:17hrs | Views
Former Vice President Joice Mujiuru party ZimPF has condemned the ruling Zanu PF government for allegedly running down health institutions in the country amid revelations the United Bulawayo Hospitals have suspended all elective surgeries due to drugs shortages.

The party question as for how long will people to tolerate this suffering.

"Let's send ZANU PF and ZANUism packing," said ZimPF through its Facebook hall. "UBH has indefinitely suspended all elective surgeries owing to stock-out of drugs. After Harare Central Hospital, this brings to two the number of central hospitals which have indefinitely stopped such surgeries in a country with a high disease burden and just four central hospitals for a population of 13 million people."

ZimPF said the latest development deals a blow to the enjoyment of the right to health by thousands of predominantly poor people serviced by the government hospitals.

UBH clinical director, Narcaciuous Dzvanga, reportedly confirmed the decision Friday in a memo to all surgeons and other key hospital staff.

"Please be advised that hospitals are facing challenges in obtaining Pethidine. This is a shortage in the country not just at United Bulawayo Hospitals.

"As such all elective cases are suspended with effect from 14 October 2016 until further notice," said Dzvanga.

Pethidine is a sedative drug which equivalents morphine and is critical in the emergency department as well as post-surgery for easing pain.

Zimbabwe's health sector hit its lowest ebb during the hyperinflationary environment of 2008. Although the situation improved during the Government of National Unity, the sector is now showing signs of distress owing to limited funding.

Staff morale at government hospitals and health facilities is also reportedly low as the government struggles to pay salaries for public sector workers due to an economic crisis that has lasted more than a decade.

Public hospitals used to receive government grants but, off-late, the State has been failing to even pay for services provided to people on social welfare.

Added to the declining financial support from government, is the problem of most patients failing to pay for treatment with most Zimbabweans now living on the poverty line after unemployment rocketed to more than 80 percent.

When Harare Hospital first suspended surgeries, health ministry permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji chose to down-play the drug stock-out at the facility, blaming it on an "administrative glitch".

"At Harare Central Hospital it was more of an administrative glitch in terms of putting together the resources and getting those essential that were mentioned in the memorandum for theatre and post-operative care," said Gwinji.

However, the health minister David Parirenyatwa is on-record lamenting poor government funding for the sector which has left the country getting 92 percent of essential drugs from external donors.

Parirenyatwa has consistently warned that the dire state of the health sector represents a national security risk."

Source - Byo24News