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Life expectancy of females in Zimbabwe increases to 68 years, males remain at 61 years 

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By Staff Reporter


THERE has been an improvement in the life expectancy at birth for females in Zimbabwe following a rise from 66.5 years to 68 years while male life expectancy remains at 61 years, according to the National Health Strategy Performance Report for 2021-2024 presented to Cabinet Tuesday.

The quality of livelihoods leading to prolonged lives has been attributed to the availability of medicines in hospitals and clinics mostly accessed by women who have a culture of seeking health services, unlike their male counterparts.

Information Minister Jenfan Muswere told journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing that Health and Child Care Minister, Douglas Mombeshora presented to Cabinet the National Health Strategy Performance Report for 2021-2024 for noting.

Muswere said that stocks of antimalarials, anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), and anti-tuberculosis (TB) medicines remained adequate during the period under review.

“There has been a general increase in the availability of medicines in health facilities, from 51% in 2020 to 54.1% in 2021. In the second quarter of 2022, almost 96% of public health facilities had at least 80% of essential medicines in stock,”

The minister said Zimbabwe has made significant strides in combating the HIV pandemic, with 98% of people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2021.

“The AIDS mortality rate continues to decline. The World Health Organisation removed Zimbabwe from its list of 30 high-tuberculosis burden countries, recognising its success in reducing TB diseases in recent years,” he said.

Similarly, national malaria incidence has sharply declined by 70% over the past three years, from 32 cases per 1,000 population in 2020 to 9 cases per 1,000 in 2022.

“Given that about 90% of Zimbabweans access health services through the public health system, the government is upgrading and expanding the system to provide all the requisite services.

“Over 78% of district hospitals in Zimbabwe have fully operational theatres to perform emergency maternity surgery, and 93% have kits for resuscitating newly born babies. Overall, the Health Sector has made significant progress towards achieving the targets set in the National Health Strategy (2021-2025),” said Muswere.