Concern has been raised over the poor state of affairs at the Beitbridge border post health facility, with calls for the state of affairs to be addressed urgently.
In an interview with ZBC News in Beitbridge during the on-going Urban Local Authorities Health Officers Forum, Chairperson and Director of Health Services in the City of Harare, Dr Prosper Chonzi said the situation is not good for the country in light of disease outbreaks in other countries such as the DRC.
“This country is at the risk of having diseases spreading from other countries due to the poor state of the port’s health facility here. As we speak, there is an outbreak of Ebola in Congo, so if we are not careful, we could have it spreading into Zimbabwe as we don’t have proper systems at our border. This must be addressed urgently,” he said.
Dr Chonzi also reminded health workers in urban local authorities of their mandate to effectively manage highly infectious diseases as well as ensuring that drugs are available in their health facilities.
“It is a must for all urban local authorities to have infectious disease units so that all these diseases are managed and this goes with the status, once you are a local authority in an urban setup, you must follow the processes and this is the way to go, so let us work on the capacity building process and let us implement our plans,” he said.
During the meeting, it was also noted that a common approach is needed in the healthcare delivery system within the country’s urban areas with a proposal to share experiences and coordinate drug management.
The health practitioners were reminded of the standards in terms of drug stocks where vital drugs are supposed to be available at all times, while the stocking rate of essential drugs should be at 80 percent, with necessary drugs set at least 68 percent at any given time.
Local authorities were also advised of the cell phone health levy as a funding option for drugs and materials in urban local authorities, as well as the $1 million dollar fund under the results based financing for maternity related expenses.
He also challenged public health officials and the media not to be shy on health related issues, saying raising awareness is being responsible as it helps to prevent looming heath disasters that must be avoided at all costs.