Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Civil society organisations in Zimbabwe call for UHC for the post-2015 health goal rather than just "MDG plus"

Civil society organisations in Zimbabwe call for UHC for the post-2015 health goal rather than just "MDG plus"

"While major consultations are underway both at national and international level on what happens following the lapse of the Millennium Development Goals next year, civil society in Zimbabwe has called for scrapping of targeted approaches in health delivery system. Through the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) — the mother body for community and civic based organisations working in the health sector — these pressure groups are advocating for the right to quality health services for everyone.

Speaking during CWGH’s annual conference in Harare recently, the organisation’s executive director Mr Itai Rusike said Zimbabwe should learn from Cuba where everyone has universal access to quality health services. He said this is despite the fact that Cuba is not a very rich country in comparison with Zimbabwe yet its population has access to healthcare services. “Every Zimbabwean should have access to quality health services and we are also happy that our new constitution recognises the right to health. This is why now we are saying we want universal health coverage. We should do away with the targeted approach,” he said.

Mr Rusike said for this reason CWGH’s theme for this year’s annual conference on universal health coverage and post 2015 is befitting to discourage the use of targeted approach in the health delivery system. Mr Rusike also said policy makers should strongly consult communities before crafting new goals and targets so that their initiatives are supported by the same communities. He said most of the Millennium Development Goals were not met because there was no community engagement. He said the MDGs, which will be expiring next year worldwide did not get much support because very few people were aware of them.

“If communities are not aware of a process then it becomes very difficult for them to support that process and to own that process. So this is the situation we found ourselves with the MDGs,” he said. Mr Rusike said post 2015, both Government and the international community should get inputs from all stakeholders including community groups and civil society so that there is ownership and support. “Right from the beginning we need input from stakeholders, we need their participation and we also need their involvement and ownership of those new goals,” he said.

The CWGH is a network of civic and community based organisations aiming at enhancing community participation in the health delivery system." (from: Article in "The Herald", 25 October 2015)

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