Rights doctors demand quality health for Zimbos

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THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) will continue to push for better health care for crisis weary Zimbabweans.

This is according to a statement to mark World Health Day which falls on April 7th ZADHR running under the theme is “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere (Health for All)”.

“As the world continues to strive for a world where human rights are a reality, ZADHR remains resolute in its fight for the realisation of the right to the highest attainable standard of health for all Zimbabweans,” the statement said.

The day, ZADHR said provides the world and Zimbabwe in particular with an opportunity to take stock of “the gains and misses in the fight for Universal Health Coverage.”

“As we acknowledge the work the government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) and other stakeholders have been doing in promoting increased access to healthcare in Zimbabwe we note that hard to reach areas and key populations remain with limited access to healthcare.

“Exclusion of sectors of our populations from accessing quality services hinder progress in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” the lobby group said.
Doctors in Zimbabwe have been on strike for a month until a deal was reached with government last week amid reports fatalities in the public health sector rose by 70% during the industrial action.

The public health sector has borne the brunt if the economic problems Zimbabwe has been grappling with in the past two decades with intermittent outbreaks of tropical diseases turning into a major killing machine.

Universal Health Care, according to ZADHR remains a key strategy in progressing towards achievement of other health-related and broader development goals.

“Access to essential quality care and financial protection not only enhances people’s health and life expectancy, it also protects them from epidemics, reduces poverty and the risk of hunger, creates jobs, drives economic growth and enhances gender equality.

“This therefore means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship,” ZADHR said. “As Zimbabwe and the world move towards #HealthForAll, ZADHR notes the need to strengthen the pillars of a ‘strong health system’ (WHO, 2004) i.e. leadership and governance, financing, medicines and technology, human resources for health, information system for an efficient, reliable and responsive health service delivery system.”

The group called for increased funding for health in line with the Abuja Declaration, strengthened domestic health financing initiatives to support the National Health Financing Policy while reducing over dependency on donors and prioritization of indigent and marginalized communities to ensure equity in enjoyment of health by all.