dr parirenyatwa.jpgExperts in the medical field have attributed challenges in the health sector to the cancellation of Balance of Payment Support facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB) in the early years of the last decade due to illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

As one of the sectors that has been adversely affected by illegal sanctions that were imposed on the country by the west, the health sector has for the past decade struggled to provide adequate medical health services.

The ordinary person seeking medical attention is bearing the brunt.

Even international support programmes like the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria funding have been politicised.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, who is also former Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa noted that strides achieved by the government in the health sector since 1980 have been derailed by the illegal sanctions.

“Sanctions have been devastating to the health sector, talk about health funding, NGO support, procurement of drugs and equipment from outside all these are affected by sanctions,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

Special Adviser in charge of disabled persons in the President’s Office, Retired Brigadier Felix Muchemwa highlighted that the decision by IMF, World Bank and ADB to cancel the balance of payments support for Zimbabwe was the last nail in the coffin for the health sector.

He noted that most Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) and DANIDA were instructed by their principals to stop assisting the health sector.   

“We used to get between US$200 million toUS$500 million from IMF, the World Bank and ADB but all the support was cancelled in 2000 because of sanctions, and who is suffering? It is the ordinary person,” said Retired Brigadier Muchemwa.

Under normal circumstances, the health sector should be getting a bigger share of the national budget for the purchase of essential drugs, equipment, medical and surgical sundries most of which are bought outside the country.

However, due to the effects of the illegal sanctions, the Health Ministry has been getting far too less than what it is supposed to be allocated.

The illegal sanctions that the country has been subjected to since the turn of the millennium are not approved by the UN General Assembly or Security Council Resolutions, and are therefore illegal under international law.