By Sharleen Mohammed
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has blamed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western powers for crippling the county’s health sector.
Addressing delegates at the national Independence Day celebrations held in Bulawayo Monday, Mnangagwa said: “In spite of the devastating Illegal and unjustified economic sanctions on our health delivery system and other social services, we are not burying our heads in the sand.”
He added: “We are certainly moving forward. Key milestones are being achieved, with Zimbabwe recording a reduction in maternal mortality.”
He claimed his government was building more health facilities and reviving the pharmaceutical sector despite the embargo.
“The resuscitation of the pharmaceutical sector through the deployment of various research and deployment of various research and development initiatives at innovation hubs, is being speeded up,” Mnangagwa said.
He urged people to stay alert to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In order to protect our children from the pandemic, parents and guardians are urged to facilitate the vaccination of children from the age of 12,” he said.
His speech comes at a time critics are pointing fingers at his flailing administration for the demise of the health sector.
Recently, fierce government critic Hopewell Chin’ono exposed the serious decay at government hospitals, singling out the country’s largest referral hospital, Parirenyatwa, which has no functioning cancer machines.
Zimbabwe’s public hospitals are operating without radiotherapy or chemotherapy machines to treat cancer patients.
The only machine that had been working between 2020 and 2021 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has since gone out of service.