Mukudzei Chingwere at Victoria Falls
The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended Zimbabwe for building resilient health systems towards universal health coverage at the launch of the National Strategy for Surgery, Obstetrics and Anesthesia (NSOAS) 2022-2025 here.
Praise came yesterday when the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga, officially launched the country’s blueprint which will be the guiding principle for providing quality surgical care and affordable.
The launch means that Zimbabwe has become only the ninth country in Africa and the fifth in Southern Africa to have a plan to provide accessible, timely and quality surgical, midwifery and anesthesia services to all Zimbabweans. and to those residing in the country, in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of leaving no one or place behind.
Speaking at the launch, Vice President Chiwenga said the Covid-19 pandemic was a wake-up call that proved the need to erect strong health systems to deal with calamities of such magnitude. magnitude if they occur.
“The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe and around the world has shown the need to build resilient health systems that are well equipped to respond to emergencies, but also to maintain essential health services,” said the vice -President Chiwenga.
“The implementation of the NHS (National Health Strategy) 2021-2025 will be supported by various programme-specific strategy documents, such as the one we are launching here today.
“The National Obstetric Surgery and Anesthesia Strategy (NSOAS) was developed at an opportune time when the Ministry of Health and Child Care embarked on a restructuring exercise to improve the efficiency of the health sector . The NSOAS is stepping in to tackle the burden of diseases amenable to surgical treatment and is the first of its kind.
According to the 2020 Global Annual Reports, between 28% and 32% of the disease burden in low- and middle-income countries was attributable to diseases amenable to surgical care, and Vice President Chiwenga said that this rate was unacceptably high.
“This has led countries, including those in the sub-Saharan region, to develop National Surgical, Obstetrics and Anesthesia Plans (NSOAPs) to address the burden of diseases amenable to surgical care” , did he declare.
“Zimbabwe has now become one of the few countries in Africa to have a comprehensive strategy for surgical services. I commend you (the health workers) for your usual resilience and leadership in health.
Vice President Chiwenga said that by launching the strategy, Zimbabwe was showing commitment and taking a positive step in meeting international obligations, imploring stakeholders to translate the strategy document into action.
He urged health development partners and the private sector to come together and complement the government’s efforts to address morbidity and mortality attributable to surgical care, in line with the directions of the strategy document.
“Allow me to reiterate my unwavering support for the implementation of this strategy,” Vice President Chiwenga said. “We cannot continue to see large numbers of our fellow citizens crossing borders in search of these services.
“I believe that Zimbabwe, with excellent professionals like you (healthcare workers present), can be a regional and international destination for medical tourism.”
Vice President Chiwenga said the strategic document will ensure that all people in need of Surgical Obstetrics and Anesthesia (SOA) services receive quality and timely care at all levels of the health system, as well as to increase the number and retain trained surgical and anesthesia obstetrics. Providers of Anesthesia (SOA) ensuring digital adequacy at all levels of healthcare in Zimbabwe.
He said this will expand equitable access to an improved SOA service and care infrastructure that has been appropriately equipped and will systematically collect, process and use quality SOA data in a timely manner to inform decision-making, as well ensure sustainable funding for surgical, obstetric and anesthesia care services.
Vice President Chiwenga said the strategy will also improve leadership and governance of surgical, midwifery and anesthesia service delivery at all levels.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr Alex Gasasira, who was represented by Dr Thenjiwe Sisimayi, said Zimbabwe was the fifth country in the SADC region to develop and launch the strategy and the ninth on the continent.
“I would like to commend and commend the government and people of Zimbabwe on this milestone and strategic achievement in strengthening the public health system. This is another manifestation of Zimbabwe’s leadership in building resilient health systems towards universal health coverage,” the WHO representative said.
“We appreciate the government and development partners for the technical and financial contribution to this strategy.
“This National Strategy for Surgery, Midwifery and Anesthesia will strengthen the security of the health system in Zimbabwe by directing investments towards the provision and improving the capacity to deliver surgical care at district hospital level as a means of achieve universal health coverage, equitable access and quality.