Govt commits to improve access to medicine

Health minister Dr Obadiah Moyo

HEALTH and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo has told the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Government is working to improve access to medication which remains a challenge. The Minister said this at the just-ended 72nd annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland that resolved to enhance the transparency of pricing for medicines, vaccines and other health products.

Dr Moyo also thanked WHO director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus for the support rendered to the country during Cyclone Idai, which claimed more than 268 lives in Zimbabwe.

In a statement, the minister said they had started implementing primary health care in Zimbabwe as advocated by WHO.
“I would like to express gratitude for the medical supplies and technical support provided by WHO during the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe and in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. We however, still have a gap in medicines supply and we have made contact with our WHO country office and the AFRO regional office on the matter” said Dr Moyo.

He said the country has embarked on a project to establish village health posts that will be manned by trained primary care givers.

“We have a number of challenges in the health sector concerning access to medicines and funding of the health workforce. We seek technical assistance from WHO as well as advocacy and the engagement of international partners on behalf of Zimbabwe,” Dr Moyo said.

During the assembly, member States including Zimbabwe adopted a new global strategy on health, environment and climate change and committed to invest in safe water, sanitation and hygiene services in health facilities.

“Countries adopted a landmark agreement to enhance the transparency of pricing for medicines, vaccines and other health products. The new WHO programme budget was approved and a common approach to antimicrobial resistance was agreed,” read a statement from WHO.

“Patient safety was recognised as a global health priority and the 11th Edition of the International Classification of Diseases was adopted including the first time announcement that gaming disorder is now classified as an addictive behaviour disorder.”