Zim sets up Non-Communicable Diseases Fund
Harare (New Ziana) -The Zimbabwe government has set up a Fund to be pooled from excise duty on cigarettes and energy drinks and channelled towards treating and supporting people suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
NCDs are diseases that are not transmissible directly from one person to another with the common ones being stroke, most heart diseases, most cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and others.
Presenting the 2022 National Budget in Parliament recently, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said incidences of NCDs in particular cancer, diabetes and hypertension were on the increase.
“Additional funds generated from the review of excise duty on cigarettes and energy drinks will be ring-fenced and appropriated from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, towards treatment and support of cancer, diabetes and hypertension patients through the Non-Communicable Diseases Fund,” he said.
Prof Ncube proposed to increase excise duty on cigarettes from 20 percent + US$5.00/1000 cigarettes to 25 percent + US$5.00/1000 as a way of mobilising additional revenue to the fiscus.
He also proposed to introduce a flat rate of excise duty on energy drinks at a rate of US$0.05/litre, or the local currency equivalent.
During the 74th Session of World Health Assembly (WHA) running under the theme “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world” held virtually in May this year, Zimbabwe called for increased funding for NCDs.
Representing Zimbabwe, Health and Child Care acting director for Oral Health Dr Hardwicke Matikiti said the country was focusing on NCDs with keen interest and incorporating them into primary health care programs.
“Regarding Non-Communicable Diseases, as a country, we continue to pay particular attention to their management in view of their increase in the population, including by integrating into primary health care.
“The country is engaged in massive awareness-raising and in addressing the risk factors,” he added.
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