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2nd Republic notches another health milestone

PRODUCTION of essential medicines reached 46.9 percent in 2021, exceeding the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) set target of 35 percent, as the health sector continues to register milestones under the Second Republic.

The NDS1 is the first five-year National Development Plan towards Vision 2030, of an empowered upper middle-income economy envisioned by President Mnangagwa, a Vision that leaves no one and no place behind.

It succeeded the two-year Transitional Stabilisation Programme, which outlined policies, strategies and projects guiding Zimbabwe’s social and economic development interventions and laid a base for economic growth.

This year marks the mid-point in the implementation of NDS1, the second of three successive National Development Plans towards the realisation of Vision 2030.

The mid-term review process of the NDS1 was inclusive and consultative, involving consultation of a broad range of stakeholders from Government, business, labour, academia, civil society, as well as development partners.

The President Mnangagwa’s administration adopted a whole of Government and society approach to respond to the global Covid-19 pandemic, earning commendation from the United Nations and other world countries.

“The percentage of locally produced essential medicines reached 46.9 percent in 2021, exceeding the NDS1 set target of 35 percent, as companies became more seized with domestication of production of Covid-19 medicines and medical accessories,” reads part of the NDS1 review note.

“Entry of new players into the pharmaceutical industry during the second half of NDS1 will witness local companies producing 60 percent of Zimbabwe’s pharmaceutical requirements by 2025.

“Government made commendable efforts towards overall improvement in health delivery systems during the first half of the implementation of NDS1. These gains strengthened domestic response to the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitated the amelioration of the impact of the disease to world-wide acclaim.

“Lessons learnt in Covid-19 containment by Zimbabwe will be applied in addressing challenges in other priority areas during the second half of NDS1. Improvement in the health delivery system also saw the country realise positive strides in open heart and hip replacement surgeries.”

The improvements are expected to go a long way in benefiting the health and well-being of citizens previously unable to access health services.

“Furthermore, this should lower the medical costs incurred by residents seeking treatment outside the country.”

The NDS1 review notes that Government stepped up efforts to build and equip services for the development of appropriate local health care facilities during the first half of NDS1 implementation.

The target is delivery of five 60-bed district hospitals and thirty 20-bed health centres in the country under a US$210 million facility.

“During the first half of NDS1, Government introduced a policy of buying drugs directly from local manufacturers to reduce the costs and improve drugs availability in public institutions, while at the same time propping up participation of local companies in drug manufacturing.

“This will see growth in the contribution of the domestic pharmaceutical industry in public health, as well as improve the availability of essential medicines in the country during the second half of NDS1.”

Herald

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