Health Sector Progresses: Life Expectancy Improves, Health Services Expand

During a recent post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr. Jenfan Muswere highlighted significant advancements in Zimbabwe’s health sector as detailed in the National Health Strategy Performance Report (2021-2024).

Minister Muswere announced that life expectancy at birth for women had risen from 66.5 to 68 years, while men’s life expectancy remained steady at 61 years. These improvements reflect the country’s adherence to World Health Organization standards and underscore progress under the National Health Strategy.

“The increase in life expectancy for women demonstrates our commitment to improving health outcomes,” stated Minister Muswere. He also noted that Zimbabwe had met the WHO’s recommended threshold for public health expenditure per capita in 2021, with continual increases in expenditure since the strategy’s implementation.

The availability of essential medicines in health facilities also saw an uptick, with 54.1% of facilities adequately stocked in 2021, up from 51% the previous year. Notably, nearly 96% of public health facilities maintained at least 80% stock levels of essential medicines in the second quarter of 2022, including antimalarials, antiretrovirals (ARVs), and anti-TB medications.

The minister highlighted achievements in combating HIV/AIDS, with 98% of affected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2021 and a decline in AIDS-related mortality rates. Zimbabwe’s success in reducing tuberculosis incidence led to its removal from the WHO’s list of 30 high-TB burden countries.

Furthermore, the national malaria incidence plummeted by 70% over three years, from 32 cases per 1,000 population in 2020 to 9 cases per 1,000 in 2022. These gains underscore Zimbabwe’s comprehensive approach to public health, with about 90% of the population accessing services through the public health system.

As part of ongoing improvements, the government is expanding health infrastructure, introducing Quinary Level Care to provide specialized services, and advancing the construction of the first Quinary Hospital. Over 78% of district hospitals now boast fully operational theatres for emergency maternity surgeries, and 93% are equipped with newborn resuscitation kits.

“Overall, the health sector continues to make substantial strides towards meeting the objectives outlined in the National Health Strategy (2021-2025),” concluded Minister Muswere, emphasizing the sector’s dedication to enhancing healthcare accessibility and outcomes nationwide. Nhau/Indaba

About newsroom

Check Also

China’s Taiwan Hit By Strongest Earthquake In 25 Years Kills Nine; 50 Missing

Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in at least 25 years killed nine people on Wednesday, injuring more …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *