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EU Unveils $40 Million for Zimbabwe Health Development Fund

FILE: Some women recovering recently from Fistula surgery in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland Central province.
FILE: Some women recovering recently from Fistula surgery in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland Central province.

The European Union has unveiled $40 million for Zimbabwe’s Health Development Fund catering mainly for maternal health, adolescents and related issues

Speaking at Chinhoyi General Hospital last Friday, head of the European
Union in Harare, Ambassador Phillipe Van Damme, said Zimbabwe has made tremendous strides in reducing child mortality and maternal deaths.

Van Damme recommended government for helping to reduce the maternal mortality rate from 960 to 614 per 100,000 live births.

Speaking at a signing ceremony of the EU’s contribution towards the Health Development Fund, UNICEF representative Reza Hossaini, said although they are chasing very ambitious goals, he hoped that the fund, if properly managed, will contribute to a targeted 50% reduction in maternal mortality.

Hossaini said the European Union’s contribution will go a long way in reviving Zimbabwe’s health system, which was once the best in the southern African region.

Hossaini said collective efforts in the last five years saw thousands of lives saved while many are now living free of diseases, thanks to other EU health contributions.

Giving a provincial perspective at the same occasion, Maternal and Child Health Officer for Mashonaland West, Dr. Justin Mudavanhu, said about six women die daily in the country from pregnancy-related complications.

Dr. Mudavanhu said the leading causes of maternal death include hemorrhage, malaria and protracted labour.

One of the beneficiaries of the Health Development Fund last year, Mrs. Tatenda Mombe said she benefited from Fistula treatment after suffering injuries when she was giving birth in 2013.

Mrs. Mombe, who had a loose bladder, had almost lost hope of ever recovering from internal injuries.

Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr. David Parirenyatwa, thanked EU for the donation saying they treat Zimbabweans as equal partners unlike other countries, which he did not mention.

Dr. Parirenyatwa noted that the Health Development Fund has enabled the government to have at least three doctors in each hospital in the country.

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