Government’s National Health Levy has positively impacted on the country’s drug situation as funds raised have been directed towards the purchase of drugs and medicines.

Of late the country’s health sector has been largely depending on donor funding and early this year government introduced the National Health Levy of 5 cents for every dollar of airtime and mobile data themed ‘Talk-Surf and Save a Life’, specifically to help in increasing the accessibility of drugs on hospitals.

The initiative has raised $18 million leading to an improved drug situation said Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa during a tour of the National Pharmaceutical Company warehouse in Harare.

“Antiretroviral drugs which were reportedly in short supply have been secured and the intention is now to ensure the drugs reach provincial and district hospitals as well as community health facilities in time,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

The National Health Levy has helped is levelling health delivery access for many who were unable to access services due to financial limitations.

The health levy initiative is not akin to Zimbabwe only as Gabon in 2008 introduced a 10 percent levy on the revenues of mobile phone companies and on mobile phone usage which helped to more than double the funds for a health insurance programme that now covers 99 percent of the equatorial nation’s poor, giving them access to critical health services.