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Struggling Zimbabwe Health System Gets $180M Boost From Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria disbursed $180 million one week after extending the deadline to use another $38M

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has given Zimbabwe’s health care system a booster shot in the form of a US$180 million disbursement of funds from the organization’s eighth round of grants.

This followed the Fund's extension last week of a deadline for use of $38 million dollars in Round Five funds.

Fund Coordinating Manager Rangarirai Chiture said the latest funds will start flowing to programs in January.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that he was elated by the release of the funds as the health care system is in desperate need of resources.

The United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF and the Central Statistical Office this week announced a rise in the infant mortality rate to nearly 10% from 8.2% five years ago - the rate is up 20% from its level a decade ago.

The UNICEF-CSO survey identified HIV/AIDS, pneumonia and diarrhea as the main causes of infant death.

The report said one in two births in rural areas is taking place at home, and nearly 40% of all Zimbabwean women lack access to basic medical care.

For a better understanding of the crisis in infant and women’s health, VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere turned to UNICEF spokeswoman Tsitsi Singizi and Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.

Singizi said poor women and infants are most at risk.