Ailing Stamps not retiring

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s ailing health advisor Timothy Stamps says he has no plans to retire despite appearing overwhelmingly plagued by ill health and advanced age.

The soon-to-be 80 Stamps, laboured through a five-page prepared speech during the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day commemorations in Harare on Friday where he was guest of honour.

He cut a frail figure before requesting to deliver his keynote speech while seated as his body could not allow him to stand for long.

“I will be 80 in a few days’ time,” he said with a wry smile.

“ . . . In Cabinet, we never stand up so you will forgive me for seating down while delivering this speech,” he added.

The Daily News on Sunday tracked him down after the event to enquire why he was still hanging on to the presidential advisory role when it seemed he needed health advice himself.

Stamps took a long look before replying:  “Health is my life. You take it away from me, you take away my life.”

Probed further if his deteriorating health was not adversely hindering his health advisory duties to the Office of the President and Cabinet, he shook his head.

“It gives me a chance to go out a bit,” he said before being whisked away by his aides.

The politician and doctor, who served in government as Health minister from 1986 to 2002, for most of that period the only white member of the government, was later escorted into his vehicle with the help of his aide.

Away from his health, Stamps said there was need to step up palliative care in the country’s public health institutions as it plays an important role in the care of patients living with chronic and life-threatening illness.

He said each year 1,2 million children die from life-threatening illness that seriously diminishes their quality of life.

“Currently, less than one percent of these children have access to palliative care services,” he said.

“The global, regional and national need for palliative care will continue growing owing to the rising burden of non-communicable diseases and aging populations around the world.”

“ . . . In Africa, Zimbabwe included, health systems face many challenges and have remained over burdened with an increasingly and worrying disease burden, great geographical distances and late presentation of illness, all contribute to the extensive need for palliative care . . . As a country, we want all Zimbabweans, including those in rural and remote areas, to access pain medication.”

Comments (2)

he is not allowed to retire

kelly - 10 October 2016

what a cracker he is

Robat Mugabe - 11 October 2016

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