PRESS RELEASE: Disappointing 2015 health budget allocation

Posted by Mutaleni on January 29, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Disappointing 2015 national budget availed

ZNNP+ has noted with concern that the health budget for 2015 still falls short of the needs of health sector particularly people living with HIV needs

Harare, January 2014:The Minister of Finance presented the 2015 Zimbabwe National Budget, a document that ideally should be a huge focus for everyone, especially ordinary people. Surprisingly of the acres of details on the state of the Zimbabwean economy and the areas that our $4.2 billion budget is being targeted towards, very little was channelled towards the health sector.

So what exactly do 2015 hold for ordinary people in terms of health? The principle that health is a basic and a fundamental human right can never be overemphasized. If Zimbabwe wants to be successful it must make sure that every individual in the country has access to health, which is accessible and affordable.

ZNNP+ has however noted with concern that the health budget for 2015 still falls short of the needs of the health sector, particularly people living with HIV. Without government making every effort to fulfil their pledge of 15% of the total budget to health, expanded investment of the National AIDS Trust Fund into treatment, and donors stepping up to meet the real needs, the country will inevitably face treatment programme disruptions.

ZNNP+ Director, Muchanyara Mukamuri, said, “the allocation per capita should be $74 to cater for essential health needs, however the allocation for 2015 per capita for $26 falls far short”. Muchanyara said the improved allocation of about 17,9 % for 2015 was commendable but must be followed up by actual release of the promised resources.

Reflecting on last year health needs exacerbated by outbreaks of diseases such as measles, displacements by floods the case of Chingwizi and the adoption of new WHO health guidelines to start patients on CD4 count above 500 including the new Option B+, ZNNP+ was hoping for an improved budget to health. As the country prepares to transition to provision of lifelong ART for all HIV positive pregnant and lactating women, it is important that challenges associated with drug stocks out be addressed.The community of PLHIV urged government to address the supply chain management issues in order to uphold people’s right to health and treatment as enshrined in Zimbabwe’s new constitution. The community of PLHIV also called upon Government to consider providing treatment that is suitable for children in order to facilitate adherence and achieve better health outcomes for children living with HIV. In addition, the fiscal was also supposed to look at increasing the number of health care workers by looking at Nurse to patient ratio and also improving their working conditions improve the quality of service delivery to clients.

ZNNP+ also believes that in as much as the government is constrained, the Health ministry should also improve the quality of its expenditures through implementing cost effective and efficient interventions.

Muchanyara also applauded government for extending the taxing of AIDS Levy to the mining sector which has not been taxed. This can improve funds to the National AIDS Council for procurement of ART for people living with HIV.

For more information contact;  Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) Edmore Mutimodyo (Advocacy & Communications Officer), Tel: +263 4 741824 Cell: 0712 772436/ 0775 716824 or Rumbidzai Matewe on 0772929981/0734146979