Today, MIHR made a submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care during the Committee’s Consultation meeting on the 2019 National Budget in Bulawayo.
Below is the full text of the submission:
- Health Care
Pursuant to Section 76 read together with Section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the right to health care we recommend the following fiscal and policy measures to be taken by the Government of Zimbabwe in crafting the 2019 National Budget Statement:
a) Fiscal considerations from Treasury should be made to ensure that before the end of the year 2019 Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo is fully operational and open to the public.
b) Government should avail fiscal resources to ensure that Chronic illnesses are treated for free in all government and local authority institutions and this applies to such illness critically that include Diabetes and Cancer.
c) The state should subsidize the prices of major kits, medical supplies and equipment for chronic illnesses and these subsidies may take many forms including making them duty free.
d) The right to primary health care services should be protected and promoted and in that regard legislative and policy measures should be put in place to ensure that anyone raped, attacked or involved in a car accident is allowed to access primary health care services even without a police report, because saving life is critical.
e) The government should avail funding to support local municipal clinics to operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week including on public holidays.
f) Treasury should allocate resources for the construction of Waiting Mothers Shelters in every district hospital in rural areas.
g) Only nursing staff who understand the local language should be deployed in areas and communities where they can speak that language.
h) In every government hospital and clinic there should be a nurse who is competent to understand and speak sign language.
i) Legislative and fiscal resources should be availed to ensure that there is free sanitary pads in every school, place of detention and prison.
j) The government should put in place mechanisms to curb abuse of pregnant women in maternity wards by female nurses. Delivering mothers are beaten and insulted by nurses in major referral and district hospitals.
k) Rabies vaccines and anti-venoms should be available at every rural health care centre.
l) The government should enact policies that stipulates the maximum distances that rural communities should not exceed to travel to the nearest health care centre.
m) There is need for policy guiding the minimum benchmarks and standards for ambulance reaction time within a stipulated radius in urban centres.
2. Child Care and Children’s Rights
Pursuant to Sections 19, 75, 78 and 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the right to health care we recommend the following fiscal and policy measures to be taken by the Government of Zimbabwe in crafting the 2019 National Budget Statement:
a) Treasury should allocate fiscal resources to ensure that girl children in schools receive free sanitary wares as going to periods is not an option and also not a choice.
b) Treasury should avail more resources for Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM).
c) The government should enact stricter and tougher legislative measures to criminalize child pregnancy, knowingly and wilfully concealing child pregnancy and or obstructing the course of justice regarding child pregnancy. In fact child pregnancy should be a state crime.
d) The government should enact tighter and tougher policy measures to curb child trafficking at the borders. Currently, the Zimbabwean border controls are not concerned about checking documents for children in transit, it is done by the other Border of the receiving country. However, Constitutionally, Zimbabwean Borders have the duty to protect children from trafficking.