Mpilo Hospital’s Service Delivery Charms Lesotho National

Under President Mnangagwa’s astute leadership, Zimbabwe has made notable progress in upgrading its health sector. Despite achieving significant milestones, including exceeding the recommended 2010 World Health Report threshold for public health expenditure per capita in 2021, the country’s critics, led by the likes of Hopewell Chin’ono, continue to perpetuate a negative narrative about the health sector.

However, a testament to the Government’s efforts to revitalize the health sector comes from Gertrude Mothibe, a Lesotho national working in Botswana. Mothibe has expressed heartfelt gratitude for the exceptional care she received at Mpilo Central Hospital in Zimbabwe, a shining example of the country’s improved healthcare services.

Mothibe’s testament exposes the lies peddled by the likes of Chin’ono. Following a dog attack in Bulawayo in April 2024, Mothibe underwent two operations and spent 12 days in the hospital. She praised the medical staff, headed by Dr. Shelton Kudzi Chivanga, for their knowledge, skill, care, kindness, and compassion. She also thanked the nurses, kitchen staff, and cleaners for their contributions to her care. This acknowledgment comes at a time when Zimbabwe has been scoring several successes on the health front since the inception of the Second Republic.

Mpilo Central’s demonstration of excellent healthcare has shown the world that Zimbabwe’s health infrastructure and superstructure can be trusted. Another highly regarded institution is Karanda Mission Hospital in Mashonaland Central, which treats foreign nationals and serves patients from neighboring countries like Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana. Known for its compassionate healthcare, Karanda performs 4,000 surgeries annually and treats various conditions, including HIV/AIDS, TB, obstetrics, chronic disease, and trauma.

Given that about 90% of Zimbabweans access health services through the public health system, the Government is upgrading and expanding this system to provide all requisite services. Over 78% of district hospitals in Zimbabwe have fully operational theaters to perform emergency maternity surgery, and 93% have kits for resuscitating newborn babies. Overall, the health sector has made significant progress towards achieving the targets set in the National Health Strategy (2021-2025).

The country met the recommended 2010 World Health Report threshold for public health expenditure per capita in 2021. Public health expenditure per capita has been increasing since the start of implementing the National Health Strategy. There was a general increase in the availability of medicines in health facilities, from 51% in 2020 to 54.1% in 2021. In the second quarter of 2022, almost 96% of public health facilities had at least 80% of essential medicines in stock. Antimalarials, ARVs, and anti-TB medicine stocks remained adequate during the period.

Zimbabwe has also made progress in responding to the HIV pandemic over the years. In 2021, 98% of people living with HIV were put on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the AIDS mortality rate continues to decline. The World Health Organization removed Zimbabwe from the list of 30 high-Tuberculosis burden countries, recognizing its success in reducing the TB disease burden in recent years. Similarly, national malaria incidence has seen a steep decline of 70% in the last three years, from 32 cases per 1,000 population in 2020 to 9 cases per 1,000 in 2022.

The Government introduced Quinary Level Care, the highest level of care offering super-specialized services. The first Quinary Hospital is being established and is currently under construction. Significant progress has also been made in developing new health infrastructure and refurbishing existing facilities.

In summary, President Mnangagwa’s commitment to improving Zimbabwe’s public health delivery system is evident. His efforts include commissioning an MRI center at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, providing medical equipment and vehicles to various hospitals and clinics, emphasizing the importance of healthcare in achieving economic development and national goals, prioritizing primary healthcare, and improving conditions for healthcare workers. Initiatives like the Health Resilience Fund and the National Health Strategy, along with capacitating district and provincial hospitals with modern equipment, are part of a broader goal targeting universal health coverage and improved sexual and reproductive health.

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