Govt to construct 3 000 village health centres

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Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government has begun constructing more than 3 000 village health centres as it scales up efforts to improve the provision of primary care in the country.

Health and Child Care deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the centres would be manned by Village Health Workers, who would be on a government salary.

“Good health starts with primary health care and as government we are moving towards that to the extent that we are already constructing more than 3 000 village health centres,” he said at a signing ceremony for a EUR 41 million (approximately US$40 million) package dubbed Improving Health Outcomes for the Population of Zimbabwe availed by the European Union.

“The Village health centre will be manned by village health workers who were being supported by NGOs but the government is going to be putting them on full salaries.”

Zimbabwe’s Village Health Worker Programme dates back to the 1980s, when the country adopted Primary Health Care as its chosen approach to health services delivery.

The government initiated the training and support for the village health workers.

To date, the programme has made notable achievements in health outcomes and impact.

Examples of these achievements include increased access to family planning, decreasing rates of new HIV infections, and decreasing HIV and AIDS-related mortality.

As such, Dr Mangwiro said the concept would ensure that medical services were brought closer to the people.

“Our system is such that we are able to get to everybody’s doorstep, this is the essence of primary health care,” he said.

“Our country is divided into provinces; each province has got a Provincial Hospital which feeds into six Central Hospitals, three in the southern region, and three in the northern region. These also feed into quinary hospitals which are specialised research hospitals but each Provincial Hospital is supported by a District Hospital because each province is divided into districts. Each district is in turn supported by a rural health centre. A rural health centre is then fed by a village health centre where people in that village or in that vicinity can have their health check-ups or pick up their medication and all that.”

New Ziana

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