Stakeholders in the health sector have urged the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to fully utilise the grant extended by Exim bank of China through prioritising the procurement of diagnostic equipment.
Following the ratification of a US$89,8 million grant from Exim Bank of China for medical equipment, stakeholders in the health sector say the grant is an opportunity for the country’s health sector as it is lagging behind in terms of equipment.
Former Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Edwin Muguti says the grant must be put to good use, adding that the country has highly skilled health personnel who are failing to use their skills because of lack of modern equipment in the country’s health institutions.
The deal has come as a relief to the nation which has been failing to get cheap credit lines, and the development is expected to see a reduction in the number of people who are resorting to going out of the country to seek medical attention.
The Zimbabwe Medical Association Secretary General, Dr Douglas Gwatidzo urged the responsible ministry to carry a needs assessment survey in all health institutions so that they may know exactly what is needed.
The loan agreement was presented to Parliament at the beginning of September for ratification in accordance with Sub-section 1 of Section 11(b) of the constitution which provides that international deals acceded to with the authority of the President should be ratified by Parliament.
The loan is one of the three deals worth US$271 million extended to the Zimbabwean government from Exim Bank of China.
The loan will attract a 2% interest rate and 0,5% management and commissioning rates payable over 20 years with a grace period of five years to complete the payment.