Patients Losing Out On Drugs

According to the LHR research, the country’s four provinces affected ate Harare, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Manicaland.
 
HIV & AIDS patients are claiming that they were being denied access to ARVs by health officials if they failed to pay a bribe and as a result 63% of them were denied HIV services after failing to pay the demanded  bribes.
 
“Bribes for HIV services and enrolment and requests for informal
payments were identified as the dominant practices.This resulted in people defaulting or out- sourcing for drugs or the required service,” reads the research document entitled ‘Corruption burns universal
Access’
.
The report noted that corruption cases were mainly perpetrated  by
nurses and support staff at the government hospitals and councils
and clinics with 88% of respondents identifying nurses and support
staff like nurse aides and administrative staff as the chief culprits.
 
No such cases were found at Mission hospitals.
 
The reports says the corrupt health officials were motivated  by
poor remuneration and absenteeism by doctors who should supervise the nurses.
 
Zimbabwean doctors spend most of their times attending to their private clinics rather than government hospitals.
 
Like other civil servants, nurses are earning between US$150 to US$230 a month depending on one’s working experience.
 
The most affected HIV & AIDS patients according to the report were the rural patients who could not raise even a single dollar to pay for
the bribe.
 
HIV & AIDS patients present at the launch of the report called for an
a nation-wide demonstration against the corrupt behaviour of health
officials.
 
Zimbabwe LHR executive Director Irene Petras said her organisation was going to engage the government over the matter.
 
“Its unfortunate that the ministry of Health  has refused to attend
this event fearing embarrassment. They told me that they were not
going to attend this  launch because it was critical to them. We
did not organise this to criticise anyone but to find ideas and
recommendations which will help the situation.
 
“As  Zimbabwe lawyers for Human  Rights we are going to once again
knock at the  government’s doors and present to them our
recommendations which we think if implemented, will solve the
situation because we are talking of human life here,” she said.
 
According to the National AIDS Council Zimbabwe’s, HIV & AIDS
prevalence has decreased from 26% four years ago to 14% to date.