Gambian team in Zim health study tour

HARARE - A 19-member Gambian team is on a study tour of Zimbabwe’s famed World Bank supported results-based financing (RBF) for rural clinics.

The Gambian team consists of permanent secretaries, health directors, evaluators and information specialists.

They are studying the programme — which has helped to significantly improve maternal and child health care outcomes in Zimbabwe — and how they can implement it in their country.

Health and Child Care permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji said the Gambian team will visit health facilities, meet with the community, as well as other stakeholders.

“We have been implementing RBF now for a number of years and we have also learned a number of lessons, some of them which made us make some adjustments and others have been a success right from the beginning.

“So we are now fully rolled out in terms of RBF. You come to Zimbabwe to share experiences. It does not mean you will transplant exactly what is happening into your country, of course the environment is different,” Gwinji told journalists.

“We hope that in those 10 days, you will be taken to all sorts of partners, facilities, the communities, so that you learn and hear from themselves what RBF has done to their institutions and to their lives,” he added.

Gambia permanent secretary in the office of the Vice President, Nancy Niang, said they would fast track the implementation of the RBF programme after copying from Zimbabwe.

“We are so happy to be here because we are talking about results-based financing for the health sector.

“The health sector is one of the main priorities for the Gambia, this is why you can see three permanent secretaries have been allowed to leave their offices for 10 days,” Niang said.

“Not only do we have permanent secretaries but also officers and university professors just to show how important this is. I want to thank the World Bank for facilitating this tour.

“But be rest assured, we are here to learn. Learning is from the cradle to the grave. If you have arrived at a point of rolling out, then of course, you must have gathered some experience. I think we are just copying and not adapting,” she added.

“Our aim is to improve on poor population access to health services, including reducing financial barriers, strengthening health services and quality through improving health facility performance and management,” weighed in Health and Child Care deputy minister Aldrin Musiiwa.

“I would like to say at the moment we are not at a mature stage with RBF; we are still working on a sustainable medium-term framework to fully institutionalise the financing mechanism.

“However, we welcome all your criticism, your compliments, your suggestions on how we can be better and we will also be frank with you on this knowledge exchange programme.”

In 2011, the World Bank supported the introduction of RBF beginning with a small pilot programme in two Zimbabwe rural districts with funding from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF).

Through the programme, user fees for a set of key maternal and child health services were removed and replaced with a financing system based on the numbers of services delivered, subject to independent verification.

Since then, the programme has grown to 18 districts with a population of 4,5 million and $40 million in financing from the government and HRITF.

Comments (2)

Is this a sick joke or what? Which health sector are they talking about? If indeed the World Bank is funding rural clinics, how come that just over the last weekend ZBC showed a documentary of the people of Fumugwe in Matebeleland having to put together their resources to build a clinic because they had to travel over 60 kms to access health services. Or are those World Bank funds reserved for the privileged provinces of the ruling tribe and excluding the Ndebeles??? Where are the Ndebele MPs in the face of all this??

MR COOPER - 7 September 2017

The Gambia is in fact way behind Zimbabwe in most things. It is a lot poorer than ZW and its major business is peanut farming. So to a Gambian visiting ZW is like a Zimbabwean visiting South Africa

ace mukadota - 8 September 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.