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Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe health profile




The National Health Service in Zimbabwe is established at four levels:

  • * Primary
  • * Secondary
  • * Tertiary
  • * Quaternary


Primary Health Care is the major vehicle through with health care programmes are implemented in the country. The major components of Primary Health Care (PHC) include: maternal and child health services; health education; nutrition education; and food production: expanded programme in immunization; communicable diseases control; water and sanitation; essential drugs programme; and the provision of basic and essential preventive and curative care.

The majority of health services in Zimbabwe are provided by the public sector (Ministry of Health and Child-Welfare and Local Government), both in the rural and urban areas.

Government services are complimented by Mission (Church related) and private facilities.

Health services in Zimbabwe are integrated, so that each health facility offers a full range of available services, that is both curative and preventive services. Thus all health services offer maternal and child health services (MCH), inclunding family planning.

In an effort to boost access to health service by newly resettled farmers, some thirty former farm homesteads are being converted into rural health centres.
HIV Infection and AIDSn the world to recognize HIV/AIDS and offer protective measures. Sentinel surveillance for HIV shows that 17 -25 % of antenatal patients were positive

Zimbabwe was one of the initial nations ive in 1993. This figure rose dramatically in the initial half of the 1990s peaking and stabilizing at around 29 %, in 2002, 24.6 in 2005. Since the late 1990s the HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe has been on the decline, making Zimbabwe one of the initial African nations to witness such a trend. The current adult prevalence rate is reported to be 20.1%. HIV/AIDS has thus remained the number one health problem in the country.

The Zimbabwe Government set up the National AIDS Council, in order to spearhead the fight against the pandemic. The National AIDS Council has structures, right down to Ward which coordinate the activities of government, Non Governmental Organizations, Churches and the private sector in programmes to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Government instituted an AIDS Levy in 2002 in order to fund the activities of the National AIDS

Council and the NGOs in the sector.

As part of its policy on HIV/AIDS the Government of Zimbabwe encourages the voluntary counseling and testing for HIV (CVT). There are currently 430 sites in the country where voluntary counseling and testing is provided. Government, with the help of international donors, has been providing medication in order to stop mother to child transmission.

Children in Zimbabwe are taught about HIV/AIDS from the age of eight. There have been suggestions that the subject should become examinable, so that the teachers can take the teaching of the subject additional seriously. Outside the school system, efforts to educate the youth about HIV/AIDS, have been carried out by NGOs, Churches, and youth groups.

Studies have indicated that knowledge about HIV/AIDS is high amongst Zimbabwean. A 2002 survey, showed that the majority of young people were aware that sexual contact was a major mode of HIV transmission. A recent health survey as well showed that condom use amongst non-cohabitating partners had increased compared to 1999. Condom use amongst women currently stands at 45.7 % compared to 42 % in 1999, whilst for men it stood at 71.2 %, up from 70.2 %, in 1999.

Childhood Mortality

Because of the vigorous health strategies put in place any minute at this time next independence, mortality in children had decreased to the lowest levels towards the end of the 1980s, and leveled off in the 1990s. The mortality situation appears to be worse off in rural and former commercial farming areas, as compared to urban areas.

In general child survival prospects have not improved since the late 1980s, largely as a result of changes in health policies, following the implementation of structural adjustment programmes, and further compounded by the sanction imposed on the Zimbabwe government by the European Union and the United National government.

Training of Health Personnel

Most of the health personnel working in the Zimbawe health sector have been trained at institutions in Zimbabwe. There are two teaching Hospitals, for medical doctors in Zimbabwe, Harate and Mpilo Hospitals.

The University of Zimbabwe has a Faculty of Dentistry. Both the Universities of Zimbabwe and of Science and Technology in Bulawayo have facilities to train pharmarcists and medical technologists. Nurses are trained at a number of training colleges, inclunding some Missionary Hospitals. Because of the brain drain Zimbabwe is loosing its doctors, pharmacists, laboratory technologists and nurses to South Africa, Canada, and United Kingdom.