By Patricia Mashiri
A delegation from Gambia which has been in the country for almost two weeks to exchange notes with the country on how to implement results based financing (RBF) said it was impressed with what the health sector is doing in Zimbabwe.
The delegation was scheduled to meet health officials at the ministry’s head office, provincial and district executives as well as urban and rural community health centres since the project was of national significance which they did in the past days.
Nancy Niang, Gambia’s Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs said they were pleased to see that the Zimbabwean clinics are improving by the use of RBF services which is to improve on poor populations’ access to health services through improving health facility performance.
“We saw that there is an improved innovation use of cooler boxes instead of fridges for vaccine storage. The use of tablets or smart phones in administering clients satisfaction survey leads to improved data quality,” Niang said.
Niang commended the motivation of staff with the sense of teamwork as well as high professionalism and commitment of the nurses who freely shared their experiences without leaving anything out.
The Ministry of Health and Childcare has been applauded for using incentives wisely as shown by the improved quality of services like the medicines and water supplies as well as the nutrition garden for patients.
The RBF training in Zimbabwe targeted different stakeholders with the aim to improve the health status of communities through development.
The challenges that have been noted to be in need of improvement include the unavailability of incinerators in some facilities as well as the risk of over-sighting critical actions due to nurses’ highly involved in administration work. The demand side of the RBF has also been reported as not adequately addressed.
Dr. Gerald Gwinji, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care promised to implement the Gambian delegation’s recommendations towards bringing solutions to the challenges in the health sector.