THE Embassy of Sweden has donated an ambulance and a caravan to the Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ) for the not-for-profit organisation to complement the Ministry of Health and Child Care in times of emergencies.
The ambulance and caravan were officially handed over to the PSZ at the Victoria Falls General Hospital by Sweden Ambassador to Zimbabwe Asa Perhason.
Accepting the donation PSZ country director Ms. Pester Siraha expressed gratitude adding it would go a long way in the provision and access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) services in the country.
“On behalf of the Population Services Zimbabwe, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the valued support we are currently receiving from the Embassy of Sweden,” the country director said.
“The support is enabling us as an organisation, to advance our mandate. We have a clear vision: ‘A nation in which every individual in need will have easy access to sexual reproductive health rights and services which include access to contraception for those in need.”
The support PSZ receives from Sweden funds nine static clinics, 10 mobile clinics (outreach), one emergency response clinic mobile clinic (outreach), 15 mobile single providers, also known as MS Ladies, and 100public sector health facilities.
Ms. Siraha added: “PSZ’s 2030 country programme strategy is anchored on three main access pillars which are; ‘Leave No One Behind’: To close gaps in SRHR service provision for people who are most underserved (and) ‘Strengthening Private Sector Provision’: To raise the quality of the ever-growing private sector. Social marketing.”
She added there was a need to strengthen existing emergency health response systems due to unfavourable weather conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Zimbabwe over the years has experienced multiple hazards including droughts, floods, cyclones which have affected the way people access health service. The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictive measures also put a strain on the provision and access of Sexual Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights services.
“These events have necessitated the need to further strengthen existing emergency health response systems to ensure many people access essential services in times of emergencies.”
In her remarks, Ambassador Perhason said the donation was aimed at strengthening and complementing Medical Emergency Response efforts in Zimbabwe.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that SRHR services are delivered to the last mile so that a choice of quality, affordable contraceptives reach women and girls no matter where they live and what they are going through.
“Sweden values the important work that Population Services Zimbabwe is doing together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to protect the health and the rights of women and girls in Zimbabwe and achieve significant reductions in unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal mortality.”
Representing the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr. Fungai Musungami, the Victoria Falls-Hwange district medical officer, applauded Sweden for the donation.
“May I take this opportunity to thank the Embassy of Sweden here in Zimbabwe for the support you are giving to PSZ through them to the people of Zimbabwe. Through that support, we have seen better access to SRH services as well as skills development of our staff.”