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Govt releases over $ 7 million for the purchase of essential medicines

05/01/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter

Government has released $ 7.6 million to the Health Development Fund (HDF) for the purchase of essential medicines and equipment.

Once purchased, the goods will be distributed to all government health institutions countrywide through the National Pharmaceutical Company (Nat Pharm).

The Health Development Fund is a multi-donor pool funding mechanism established to revitalize health services and reduce maternal and child mortality.

It is managed by UNICEF and the HDF has been the primary means through which donors have channelled their financial contributions to Zimbabwe’s health sector. 

The government’s contribution comes from the recently-introduced Health Fund Levy through which five per cent of the duty charged on airtime is ring-fenced to improve access to quality health care for all Zimbabweans. 

Health ministry permanent secretary, Gerald Gwinji, said the government took advantage of UNICEF’s procurement mechanism and economies of scale to utilize part of the Health Levy to purchase essential drugs and medicines.

“As Government of Zimbabwe we appreciate the continued support and contribution that development partners have made to the health sector through the HDF,” said Gwinji in a statement.

“They have asked us as Government to support this commitment by also investing appropriately into the health services provision.”

The government’s contribution will be pooled with other donor funds and managed through UNICEF as the HDF manager.

UNICEF is using its procurement systems to efficiently purchase the products while ensuring value-for-money and taking advantage of economies of scale.

“We share the government’s commitment to providing every Zimbabwean, especially women and children, with access to the highest quality of health care possible,” says acting UNICEF Representative Jane Muita.

“To this end, we will do everything possible to ensure that the medicines and equipment reach health facilities in the shortest possible time.”

In addition to this funding, the government has met its 2017 co-financing obligation of US$ 600,000 to Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) to improve the availability of vaccines throughout 2018.


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