MINISTER of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa has hailed the construction of a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical warehouse at Mutare Provincial Hospital, saying the move demonstrates Government and Global Fund’s commitment to improving the well-being of all citizens.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of NATPHARM Mutare warehouse last Friday, Dr Parirenyatwa, said: “The investment here will help ensure that Manicaland Province has the warehouse infrastructure that meets international standards to efficiently store medicines and other pharmaceutical products to provide good health care and save lives.
“The NatPharm Mutare warehouse will help the province optimise its logistics structure and processes. Customers will benefit from higher product availability, shorter delivery times and bundled deliveries; suppliers from a central point of delivery and more efficient processes.”
He added: “The new warehouse, I am told, will hold a capacity of around 3 500 pallets from the current capacity which only holds 602 pallets. This huge increase of storage capacity will make sure that medicines are available in the province. The frequent inter-branch transfers will greatly be reduced. Construction of such a facility will take approximately 11 months and is set to resume this October.”
“The new complex will have state-of-the-art equipment and a sound security system. With such an investment, we are guaranteed of an efficient management of stocks by NatPharm Management.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to prioritising global initiatives focusing on improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, and nutrition interventions as evidenced by the international and regional treaties Government is signatory to.
“National policies, guidelines and strategies have been put in place to provide the appropriate environment for these interventions.
“Current interventions include family planning, prevention of cervical cancer, maternal and neonatal health, emphasising on delivery of quality services, clean and safe deliveries, emergency obstetric care, postnatal care and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
“Interventions for improved neonatal care include essential care for every baby, care for premature babies, small newborn babies and sick newborn babies. The child health interventions include EPI, IMNCI, ETAT, early infant diagnosis, paediatric HIV care and antiretroviral treatment,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He bemoaned the high maternal mortality ratio, which he said had remained higher than the set Millennium Development Goal target of 174 deaths per 100 000 live births which was supposed to be achieved by 2015.
“The maternal mortality ratio increased from 612 per 100 000 live births in the 2005-06 to a peak of 960/ 100 000 in 2010-11, followed by a decline to 651/ 100 000 in 2015.
“Despite the decline, maternal mortality ratio remains much higher than the set MDG target of 174 deaths per 100 000 live births which we were supposed to achieve by 2015,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa added: “The neonatal mortality rate increased from 24 in 2005-06 to a peak of 31 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2010-11, then declined slightly to 29 in 2015. The trend in infant mortality rate revealed a consistent pattern of decline from 60 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2005-06 to 57 in 2010-11 and 50 per 1 000 live births in 2015.”