Gvt must prioritise health sector reform

HARARE - Last week’s successful surgery to separate Siamese twins performed by Zimbabwean doctors at the Harare Central Hospital is indeed a source of national pride.

We are not alone in purring over this magnificent feat of brilliance.

President Robert Mugabe also heaped praises on Harare Hospital staff that separated the two conjoined twins.

Mugabe visited the twin brothers Kupakwashe and Tapiwanaishe Chitiyo as he appreciated the historic performance by the local medical team.

He described the operation on the Siamese twins, led by paediatric surgeon Bothwell Mbuwayesango, as a source of national pride.

“You have done us real proud, the world will be talking about us,” Mugabe said. “Some will not believe because they just do not want to believe it but the rest of the world will believe because Zimbabweans, wherever they are, are known to be best performers.

“It doesn’t matter where they are; our people distinguish themselves but this distinction now, right here in the heart of Zimbabwe, in this God-given hospital is something unbelievable. That’s why I call it a mystery.”

No Cde President!, there is nothing mystic about Zimbabwean doctors performing such acts.
What is mystic is your government’s and party’s lack of appreciation for critical reforms needed to improve health care in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe and Zanu PF have presided over the collapse of healthcare in Zimbabwe — reducing hospitals to funeral parlours.

Nine times out of ten, if one is admitted into poorly-funded public hospitals they will come back in a coffin!

Zimbabwe’s health care system has been commercialised to the extent that only those with deep pockets can afford better medical treatment, often offered at private hospitals.

The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) have been supporting health services more than the Zimbabwean government whose budgetary allocations to health are derisory.

Through the US president’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/Aids around the world, the US has been pouring millions of dollars to support public health institutions in this country.

It is our hope that now Mugabe has promised reforms in the health sector, government will prioritise improving conditions and remuneration of the medical staff manning our hospitals.

Zimbabwean doctors are sought after, just like other professionals in different sectors, but we need to show the desire to keep and incentivise them.

Otherwise this becomes a familiar story of a prophet being honoured in a foreign land while derided by those at home.

Comments (2)

Quite frankly,Mugabe had no business visiting the separated twins because he long ignored our local hospitals.The president simply does not respect local skilled pple. He has done nothing to upgrade our hospital facilities.In fact the president should feel ashamed of his attitude towards our hospitals & our life in general.


The adopted Singapoean on his usual visits to Zimbabwe was surprised that our country has brains and skills to perform such medical feats! Those of us who already know his disdain for anything Zimbabwean are not even surprised.

Tongogara - 17 July 2014

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