from DANAI MWARUMBA in Masvingo, Zimbabwe
MASVINGO – INSUFFICIENT medicines are hindering relief efforts in impoverished regions south of Zimbabwe.
The ancient Masvingo Province is among the areas worst affected by the setback that is linked to prevailing economic problems afflicting the country. The region is also impacted by successive seasons of drought and cyclones that have left hundreds dead and scores dead in recent weeks.
Bishow Parajuli, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, expressed serious concern at the lack of critical medical supply, which he said stood at 50 percent at Masvingo provincial hospital due to the current economic problems.
The UN envoy led a two-day field visit to UN-supported and development programmes over the past weekend.
Dr Alex Gasasira, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Zimbabwe, called for increased essential medical supplies to the provincial hospital.
He also appealed for the provision of essential laboratory supplies and consumables and strengthening of provincial and district rapid response teams as well as capacity building of health workers at provincial, district and health facility level.
The UN earlier this month launched an appeal for US$ 294 million (R4,2 billion) to provide food assistance, health services, education, social protection and agriculture to 2,47 million people in most vulnerable districts in Zimbabwe.
The Southern African country of 16,5 million people is experiencing deep economic challenges marked by cash shortages and high unemployment.
Critics blame government corruption for the malaise. The administration, however, has attributed the decline to sanctions imposed by some Western nations, mainly the United States.
– CAJ News