FULL TEXT: Doctors For Human Rights Statement On World Health Day

Full statement by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights on World Health Day which is being commemorated today, 7 April 2021.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) joins the world in commemorating World Health Day 2021 under the theme ‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’.

This year’s commemorations are again being held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed the inadequacies of health systems in ensuring that health services are available, accessible and of good quality to all.

ZADHR, on this day, joins all stakeholders in the health sector in taking stock of the gains, misses and opportunities in the fight against COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.

ZADHR notes that the poor, indigent and marginalised communities have suffered the most due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation has further amplified gender, social and health inequalities and calls for governments across the world to ensure that citizens, especially the marginalised, are protected from the negative effects of the pandemic socially and economically.

In this vein, ZADHR applauds governments across the world on the COVAX initiative, an international solidarity mechanism to ensure that poor countries access vaccines for COVID-19.

We believe the initiative, if implemented well, has the propensity to support communities in resource-limited countries, in getting a fair share of the global vaccines available.

We also note the strides the Government of Zimbabwe has made in sourcing vaccines and the current roll-out plan.

Despite this, ZADHR notes the poor uptake of vaccination across the country and urges the Ministry of Health and Child Care to do more on vaccine literacy through enhanced public campaigns to popularise the vaccine roll-out plan and on dispelling myths and misconceptions for the purposes of promoting demand for, and uptake of vaccines in the country.

We also urge the Government of Zimbabwe to invest more in financing the procurement of more vaccines and expanding the geographic reach of the program.

By and large, ZADHR takes this opportunity to reinforce its commitment to partnering with the Government of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic and its attendant consequences to build a strong and resilient health system in the country.

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