Gvt Extends Free Health Services to Pregnant Women First: Madzorera

In an interview with Radio VOP last Thursday, Madzorera said pregnant women will be the first group of people who will get free treatment at government hospitals in January 2012 then followed by HIV/AIDS patients.

“With affect from January 2012 all Zimbabwe women will be treated for free at all government hospitals and after that we will also give HIV/AIDS patients free treatment,” said Madzorera.

Madzorera said his Ministry has done a research and established that most women  are dying at home whilst giving  birth  because they can’t afford  hospitals fees.

“We have realised that most Zimbabwean women are dying at home whilst giving birth because they can’t afford hospital user fees.

“We have also realised that most HIV/AIDS patients are failing to access to antiretroviral treatment offered for free by our partners who are mostly non-government organizations because of hospitals fees,” he said.

He said his Ministry has already secured US$10 million to pay for pregnant women hospitals’ charges adding that in the near future he will make sure all Zimbabweans visiting government hospitals will be treated for free.

Most government hospitals are currently charging fees as much as US$30 per patients and per visit.

The Health Minister also dismiss reports that there is critical shortage of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs ,saying that the only problem the government is facing is shortages of pharmacists  to administer these AIDS drugs.

“There are enough stocks of ARV drugs in the country; even our partners who are non-governmental  organizations have enough stocks. The only problem we are facing currently is shortages of pharmacists to distribute these drugs as most have left the country in search of greener pastures,” he said.

Zimbabwe used to be one of the countries worst affected by HIV/Aids in the world although transmission rates have been declining in the last few years.

Researchers say fear of infection and mass social change have driven a huge decline in HIV rates in Zimbabwe, offering important lessons on how to fight the Aids epidemic to the rest of Africa.