As the country commemorates World Health Day, statistics available from the Ministry of Health and Child Care indicate that Zimbabwe has failed to achieve the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of lowering its infant mortality rate to 25 deaths per 1000 by the year 2015.
With the current infant mortality rate standing at 89 dates per 1000, the Zimbabwe Medicines Association Chairperson, Dr Agness Mahomva said the current statistics indicate that more needs to be done to achieve the 25 per 1000 infant mortality rate.
The under-five mortality rate, according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, was 94 deaths per 1000 live births in 2009 and has declined to 75 deaths per 1000 in 2014.
Zimbabwe, like most Sub-Saharan African countries, bears a heavy burden of high neonatal and child mortality.
One of the biggest challenges crippling the health delivery sector is failure by medical aid societies to honour their obligations to their clients and the medical field.
Some medical health funders have emerged as the culprits of the decade in the country’s health delivery sector through their failure to honour their obligations to their subscribers and to health institutions for services rendered.
According to health expert, Dr Edwin Muguti this practice by health funders has crippled operations of public and private institutions, which has resulted in the lack of drugs, institution maintenance and patients being denied healthcare.
Since independence in 1980, health for all was the milestone that government excelled at only to be scuttled by brain drain that followed the economic slump and alleged corrupt practices by some health funders.
Medical expert, Dr Vivek Solanki believes that the undoing of the sector has been its failure to invest in technology and adequate human resources training, which has resulted in some medical procedures not being able to be conducted locally.
Failure to attain three MDGs, which have to do with infant and maternal mortality, and containing HIV and AIDS might be the least of the health sector’s worries if some of its major concerns are not addressed.