Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has increased to 59 years of age. Previously these statistics stood at 37 years of age. The increase in life expectancy comes after a significant drop in new HIV infections has been recorded.
According to the minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, infant mortality and maternal mortality have also significantly dropped.
Dr Parirenyatwa said, “Zimbabwe had one of the highest HIV/Aids prevalence rates in Africa, but we worked so hard that we have the highest drop in HIV statistics on the continent to the extent that people from other regions come here to learn how to tackle epidemics such as HIV.”
He also added that mother to child transmission has dropped to 5,4%. This is due to prophylaxis treatment given to HIV positive pregnant women.
He also stated that while 59 years life expectancy is still low, the increase is a huge improvement.
“In spite of the challenges that our health system is going through, we should look at the milestones that we have managed to achieve as a country,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He said his ministry was a huge organisation with 37 000 employees.
“We have six central hospitals, three in Bulawayo and three in Harare. We have eight provincial hospitals, 63 district hospitals and 47 mission hospitals.
“On top of that, we also have 23 general hospitals and 1 211 health centres. We expect each of these to be working very well and service delivery to be excellent,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.