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Rights doctors slam partisan distribution of medicines

Human rights doctors have slammed the Minister of Health Dr Obadiah Moyo for the alleged partisan distribution of health services and goods following the revelation that government had sanctioned the distribution of medicines to clinics in Lupane to bolster Zanu PF election campaign.

The ruling party is one of many political parties vying for the vacant Lupane East constituency Member of Parliament seat.

In a letter addressed to Victor Matematanda, the Zanu PF National Commissar, Dr Moyo said he had “instructed the Permanent Secretary Dr Mahomva to activate NatPharm to supply clinics mentioned with medicines.”

Matemetanda has requested the government to supply medicines to Lupaka, Gomoza, St Pauls, Lake Alice, Lusulu and Lupanda clinics.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said the partisan distribution of medical goods reveals the deep-seated structural barriers to health for all in Zimbabwe.

“Partisan distribution of medical goods and services is an affront to health for all and the right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“The move reveals deep-seated structured barriers to health for all in Zimbabwe,” read part of the statement.

ZADHR said the move raises questions on the criterion used by the Ministry in the distribution of drugs and medical sundries.

“Apart from just exposing the Ministry of Health from dabbling in political party electoral agendas, it raises questions on the criterion used by the Ministry in the distribution of drugs and medical sundries.

“As ZADHR we believe the distribution of drugs and services must be based on population, disease burden and current stocking levels and not on a parochial partisan political agenda.

They added that the move exposes the abuse of parastatals such as Natpharm.

“Further, the move exposes the abuse of parastatals such as Natpharm- the sole government vehicle for the acquisition, storage and distribution of medicines, which also receives and distributes donor supported drugs and medical sundries on how supplies never reach the intended targets and reap the intended outcome”.

The human rights doctors implored the government to ensure that “health centres must be properly equipped at all times through increased funding into the sector and that health services and goods must not be distributed on partisan political lines.”

The Association called upon the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate the Minister on criminal abuse of office and bring him to account.

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