The Sunday Mail
Mukudzei Chingwere in CAIRO, Egypt
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, is expected to lead the Zimbabwe delegation at this year’s Africa Health ExCon, which starts here in Egypt on Tuesday.
The annual forum is designed to create a platform to connect world healthcare buyers and suppliers under one roof and give healthcare partners the opportunity to network.
It is considered the largest medical conference and exhibition in Africa, which also brings together leading manufacturers of medical consumables and specialists.
VP Chiwenga is expected to use the platform to continue the international health sector benchmarking thrust to refine the local health sector.
This year’s edition is scheduled to be opened by the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The conference comes at a time when Zimbabwe is forging ahead with its quest to revamp its health services towards universal health coverage that is consistent with an empowered upper middle-income economy as envisioned by President Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Egypt, Air Marshal (Retired) Shebba Shumbayawonda, said they expect to receive VP Chiwenga tomorrow.
“Let me start by saying he (VP Chiwenga) was invited by his counterpart, the Minister of Health here in Egypt, to attend the Africa Health ExCon,” said Ambassador Shu- mbayawonda.
“The importance of this exhibition is that it brings all manufacturers, buyers, sellers, end users of equipment under one roof.
“So, they can see all the developments or technical advancements that are taking place in the medical field.”
Last year, the VP similarly led the country’s delegation at the same conference and was impressed by Egypt’s health model, which is anchored in a highly plural system, with public and private providers financed and managed through the state, parastatals and the private sector.
At its core, the model guarantees quality healthcare to the entire citizenry.
Those in need of even better quality can choose the parastatals route, going up to the private sector level, albeit for a cost that is excluded at the base.
Last month, Government and the Arab Republic of Egypt established a medical standardisation framework, under which the two will collaborate in medical consumables licensing.
The agreement signed between the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) will see all locally approved medical consumables automatically getting the green light in both jurisdictions.