Citizens have implored the government to allocate 15 percent of the national budget towards improving the country`s health sector
Contributing during national budget consultation in Bulawayo, Monday, residents expressed concern over the poor state of public health centres in the country.
Residents noted that the government needs to improve service delivery for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as availing sexual reproductive health services for adolescents.
Phakamani Moyo, a representative from Friendly Service Delivery said the budget allocation for the health sector needs to be aligned with the provisions of the Abuja which stipulates that each African country should dedicate 15 percent of its annual budget to the health sector.
Moyo said the current allocation of 10.2 percent is gobbled by wages leaving almost nothing to cater for medication and other resources.
“The health allocation needs to be increased to 15%. That way service delivery may be able to improve. The government must ensure that mining companies contribute towards the development of health institutes in the country,” Moyo said.
Joseph Nyamayaro, a ZINASU representative said the government must provide medical students with the necessary equipment for them to conduct their lessons.
“Laboratories for medical students are ill-equipped. For them to conduct practical lessons they buy their own resources. This is an expense to them especially considering the high cost of living. The government needs to intervene on this issue and assist the students,” he said.
Jacqueline Tshuma, a youth, bemoaned the increase in girls dropping out of school because of unavailability of facilities to attain sexual reproductive health services.
“We have more than 200 girls who have dropped out of school. The government must avail more clinics or facilities accessible to young girls to protect themselves from early pregnancy. Dropping out of school robs the children of their careers hence we risk being stuck with uneducated people in the future,” she said.
Minister of State for State Affairs in Bulawayo Province Judith Ncube noted that progress has been made since the outbreak of Cholera in terms of improving the health sector.