UN ready to engage govt to address challenges in the health sector

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By Anna Chibamu

UNITED Nations (UN) agencies involved in health issues in Zimbabwe continue to engage with the government to try and resolve challenges facing the country in the sector, a top diplomat has said.
For several months Zimbabwe’s health sector has been crippled by a crippling doctors’ strike who are demanding a review of their salaries as well as working conditions.
In an interview with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Esther Muia on Friday told that it was important for all stakeholders including the UN to continue dialogue on the health issues with Government to find a way forward in tackling the challenges in the health sector.
“We are ready and continue to engage with the government on how we can support response to the rising challenges in the health sector so that we continue to meet the needs of the people of Zimbabwe.
“What is important is that Zimbabwe is going through some challenging times and during this time every sector suffers. However, the Health Sector is a matter of life and death and therefore shocks to the health sector have long term implications to people in communities,” Muia said.
The UNFPA representative however pointed out that it was not the duty of UN alone to bring solutions to the problems being faced by Zimbabwe but there should be a collective effort by all stakeholders.
“It is not the UN alone that can bring solutions but the UN can work with other development partners to support government.
“In this area where the sector is facing so many challenges, resources are critical and resources mean money, manpower, machinery and equipment. So it is not just addressing one thing but looking at how we as development partners can come together and assist to respond to challenges in the health sector,” she said.
Muia added: “As United Nations, we are in Zimbabwe to assist the country move forward and achieve its targets and this includes helping the health sector to meet its responsibilities especially to save the lives of pregnant women and children.”