By Health Correspondent
The Ministry of Health and Child Care plans to open 1600 health posts across the country.
These vacancies have arisen as a result of the Primary Health Care initiative which is the foundation of Universal Health Coverage.
“This is a new concept in line with Primary Health Care where services are brought closer to the people,” said Mr Stephen Banda, Director Policy and Planning.
The concept was approved by cabinet last year and the ministry is working on establishing community health facilities across the country.
“Cabinet approved this concept last year and as ministry we are working with treasury to ensure the construction of the facilities.
“Construction of pilot centres has begun with four rural health centres in Mashonaland Central under the 100-day plan. As soon as these are complete, we will test operations then spread the idea to the other provinces,” he said.
The director also highlighted that the village health centres will be run by Primary Care Nurses (PNC) who will report to the rural health facilities.
Mr Banda applauded this initiative saying that it will ease burden on both the clients and the heath institutions.
“We appreciate this move because it will make health care cheap and accessible at Rural Health facilities because resources will be available at community level. Clients will not have to walk long distance to get to the nearest facility,” he said.
The community facilities will offer a number of services: OPD consultations, follow ups and refill of stable chronic disease patients, uncomplicated malaria diagnosis and treatment, EPI vaccinations, health promotion activities in local areas as well as diagnosis of pregnancy and referring pregnant women for booking at rural/ urban health centres.
Mr Banda highlighted that the ministry is eagerly working towards completion of the pilot facilities so that operations can begin.