A SECTION of Zimbabweans stated they do not know they are entitled to their right to quality and affordable healthcare, a study found.
This was one of the major findings in a Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI)’s recently released report titled ‘Locking Down Democracy in Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 era : the state of human rights and accountability in the public health sector.’
This revelation comes at a time when rural healthcare services are affordable coupled with involvement of health related civil society organisations operating in the countryside through information dissemination programs.
The objectives of the study were to interrogate the state of human rights in the public health sector in the context of Covid-19, documenting citizen oversight and perception outcomes on corruption, transparency and accountability in the public health sector in the context of Covid-19 as well as interrogating the extent of impartiality in staffing and deployments in the public health sector in the context of Covid-19.
“Respondents stated that they are aware of their right to healthcare in the context of Covid-19. 83% of the interviewed respondents said they were aware of their right to healthcare in the context of the pandemic while 17% said they were not aware. However, of the 83% of respondents who said they were aware of this right, only 24% reside in the rural areas compared to 76% in the urban areas,” read part of the report’s findings.
With the endemic corruption within the healthcare system resulting in poor service delivery, the report noted there are some folks who are convinced there it does not exist.
“Regarding management of public resources related to Covid-19,59.9 % of the research participants noted that the health sector is corruption-ridden while 14% dismissed the claim stating that thereis no corruption in the health sector,” the report notes. “The study shows that urbanites have more access to information pertaining to the day-to-day running of Healthcare institutions as compared to their compatriots in the rural areas. People in rural areas have limited interaction with healthcare institutions hence their minimal exposure to corrupt practices. On the other hand,people in urban areas are more exposed to the daily activities of public health institutions as hospitals and clinics are more concentrated in these areas.”