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Zimbabwe, 5 February 2016: EU contributes 42.9 million euros to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health

© Victoria Walshe/UNFPA 2016
UNICEF Representative, Reza Hossaini; and Minister of Health and Childcare, Dr. David Parirenyatwa plant a tree in appreciation of all the health workers who work tirelessly to present pre-eclampsia death.

By Elizabeth B. Mupfumira

CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe, 5 February 2016 – The European Union (EU) today granted 42.9 million euros to support the country’s continued revitalisation of the health system. The funds, which will be allocated through the Health Development Fund (HDF), will support the strides Zimbabwe has made in reproductive, maternal, new born and adolescent health.

This contribution goes towards the US$680 million that was pledged by the EU and the governments of the UK, Sweden, and Ireland as well as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) to ensure equitable access to quality health services for women and children. This will result in the reduction of maternal and child mortality by 50 per cent, increase in access to family planning, halving the prevalence of stunting in under five children, and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, all by 2020, while combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases.

“Under the 11th European Development Fund’s (EDF) National Indicative Programme 2014-2020, the EU delegation has already disbursed 38.6 million euros for the years 2014-2016 in support of the Health Transition and the Health Development Funds and has earmarked another 28 million euros for the next two years,” said the Head of European Delegation, Ambassador Phillipe Van Damme. “This shows a long and continuous commitment to supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Care in establishing and maintaining an equitable and accessible health system.”

Building on the achievements of two health sector programmes – the Health Transition Fund, managed by UNICEF, and the Integrated Support Programme (ISP), managed by UNFPA – the HDF aims to consolidate and improve on gains made over the past five years by strengthening health systems and scaling up the implementation of high impact RMNCH-A, and nutrition interventions through support to the health sector.

“While the country remains focused towards achieving the highest standard of healthcare and quality of life possible for all citizens, we are cognisant of the fact that on our own we will not be able to achieve this mission,” said Minister of Health and Childcare, Dr. David Parirenyatwa. “Rather, a lot can be achieved through strong partnerships and support from a strong partnership and support from all health partners and key stakeholders.”

Zimbabwe’s health sector is slowly recovering from economic challenges, which have made it difficult for many people, particularly women and children, to access lifesaving health care. According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014, Zimbabwe has managed to reduce the maternal mortality ratio from 960/100,000 live births in 2009 to 614/100,000 live births in 2014 and the child mortality ratio from 94/1,000 live births in 2009 to 75/1,000 live births in 2014.

“Through the HDF, we hope to contribute to a 50 per cent reduction in maternal mortality and a 50 per cent reduction in under-5 mortality by 2020, and to eliminate altogether mother to child transmission of HIV by 2020,” said UNICEF Representative, Reza Hossaini. “All these goals will be supporting the Ministry of Health and Childcare’s National Health Sector Strategy to improve the quality of life of its citizens by guaranteeing every Zimbabwean access to health.

The HDF which will run between 2016 and 2020, will operate under seven thematic areas:

  • Maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition
  • Sexual reproductive health rights
  • Medical products, vaccines and technologies
  • Human resources for health
  • Health financing
  • Health policy and planning
  • Technical support, operations, research and innovation

For more information:
Victor Chinyama, Chief of Communications, UNICEF: Tel: 263 772 124 268, email: vchinyama@unicef.org or emupfumira@unicef.org
Donald Mujiri, Public Relations Officer, MOHCC: Tel: 0712 867337, email: dmujiri@gmail.com
Bertha Shoko, Communications Analyst, UNFPA: Tel: 263 772 782 299: email: shoko@unfpa.org

 

 
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