Zimbabwe Network for Health – Europe

January 2009

ZimHealth members meet with an eminent politician in Switzerland to introduce the association and explore avenues for resource mobilisation

On the 22nd of January, ZimHealth executive committee members, namely, Shiva Murugasampillay, Francis Ndowa and Alisdair Menzies had a meeting with Liliane Maury Pasquier, in Geneva. Liliane Maury Pasquier is a well-respected Swiss Senator and Midwife, who is actively involved in community health initiatives, civic associations and NGOs. Given her wide-ranging experience, she was able to give us some very useful advice on the best possibilities for fundraising at different administrative levels in Switzerland. As a health professional active in women’s health she confirmed that our project to support the Edith Oppermann Maternity Wing of the Mbare Clinic seemed very well-founded and assured us of her continued support.

ZimHealth Member Contacts Health Authorities in Zimbabwe to Select Projects for Support

Dr. Michael Mbizvo visited Zimbabwe in early January 2009. Whilst in the country Dr. Mbizvo met with Dr. Dan Makuto, a member of ZimHealth based in Zimbabwe. Together the held meetings with Mr. Zigora, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. The CEO confirmed that services at Parirenyatwa hospital had virtually ground to a halt and that Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital had temporarily closed, and only partially opened with the intervention of UNFPA which had provided salary top-ups for nurses and doctors for a three month period. When informed that ZimHealth had prioritized municipal polyclinics for its initial funding, Mr. Zigora was very supportive of this plan and suggested a meeting with the Mayor of Harare.

Dr. Mbizvo’s meeting with the authorities in the City of Harare was a resounding success. He met with the Mayor of Harare, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda, and the Deputy Mayor, Mr Emmanuel Chiroto, the Director of Urban Planning, Mr. Chiwanga, a Councillor, Mr Chifodya and the Harare city director of health services, Dr. Prosper Chonzi. After some discussion and taking into account the workload, accessibility and potential for coverage, the Mbare Polyclinic with the Edith Oppermann maternity unit were proposed as the priority complex for support. This complex serves residence of Mbare, Mabvuku and Tafara, among others.

Dr. Mbizvo was also able to conduct a site visit to Mbare Polyclinic, accompanied by Dr. Chonzi. The Matron for the complex was able to show them round and photographs that can be used as baseline were taken. It was also pointed out that the Edith Oppermann unit has no facilities to manage obstetric complications, mainly because there are no theatre facilities. The frustration at the moment is that there are no referral facilities either for women with complications.

Following the visit and receipt of a list of requirements ZimHealth members are currently undertaking the following activities to respond to the identified needs.

  • Costing of the essential items from the list submitted by Dr Chonzi and prioritization of life-saving or critical items
  • Identifying potential suppliers
  • Making plans for an appeal for funds to respond to the needs more adequately
  • Liaising with colleagues in the United States of America to for a joint response.

The Zimbabwe Network for Health (ZimHealth) seeks to raise funds to procure and distribute m edicines, diagnostics, vaccines and other commodities to rehabilitate the health facilities in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s once robust health-care services have declined in recent years, exacerbated by the AIDS epidemic, a serious economic crisis and the considerable exodus of skilled personnel including doctors and nurses.

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