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PHM Zim Brief January 2013

12 Mar 2013

At Independence in 1980, Zimbabwe adopted the Primary Health Care Approach in line with the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978. The implementation of the PHC approach resulted in decentralization of health service provision from central level (cities and town) to administrative wards at district level in rural communities. However since the mid-90s with the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programmes which demanded reduction in public spending, increasing population demands and the HIV pandemic, the health sector was severely affected by poor funding. This resulted in shortages of medicines and other logistical supplies, poor salaries and low staff morale. The situation became worse in 2008 resulting in nationwide strikes by health workers and closure of hospitals amidst a nationwide cholera outbreak. Even though some semblance of macroeconomic stability has been achieved following the inception of the Inclusive Government in February 2009, disagreements among the Global Political Agreement partners has delivered a fragile state.  The watershed harmonised polls and the referendum on the new Zimbabwe constitution set for this year may derail some of our activities due to political violence and suspicion on civil society  


How PHM Zimbabwe is structured

PHM Zim has a seven member National Steering Committee with the chairperson also doubling as the focal person; it is hosted by the biggest health civil society networks in Zimbabwe the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) who has allocated a PHM Desk and an Intern to support with co-ordination. PHM Zim has been riding on the CWGH district structures right across the country to enhance wider community participation in PHM activities. We have created a PHM Zim Mailing list. We also get support from the CWGH for telephones, stationery, internet, transport and refreshments.


Main plans / key issues for the future:

Key activities: The Right to Health Campaign including participation in the Referendum for the new Zimbabwe Constitution set for early this year and we will campaign for the Yes Vote, advocate for the passing of the Public Health Act Amendment Bill now waiting for debate in parliament, and participate in the Research Council of Zimbabwe’s International Research Symposium, CWGH National Conference, continue to participate in the formulation of the national health budget including its monitoring, exhibit at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, NGO Expo and the Harare Agriculture Show. Fundraise to support our activities including at least one exchange visit within the region


Networking strategies and opportunities: strengthen our partnership with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health on the budget process, the CWGH at national level on health governance, the more than 14 IPHU Alumina’s from Zim to be the resource persons in our national activities. Will network with the Southern Africa Social Forum and EQUINET at regional level


Support needed from the PHM global structures especially the secretariat: Technical support, Peer review of papers, IEC materials, links to funding opportunities and support on exchange visits.


Strengthening PHM in the region and globally:  the regional PHM will need to take advantage of on-going events to interact with the country circles. It also needs to aggressively fundraise to support travelling costs for the coordinator so that she can participate in some country processes. Without doubt we need mentoring of young public health activist from PHM Global and support with exchange visits. Both PHM Regional and Global need to continuously listen and consult the country circles to inform their decisions.





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