Zimbabwe's health system is out of intensive care but is still wobbly on its feet, the country's health minister said Friday as he appealed for 1.3 billion dollars in donor funding to rebuild the health system.
After a battle to stem cholera, a diarrhoeal disease that killed close to 5,000 people in Zimbabwe last year, the country's new coalition government is now grappling with an outbreak of the A H1N1, or so-called swine flu virus.
So far, 27 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in two provinces east of the capital Harare, out of 631 suspected cases in total, health officials announced Friday in Harare.
The health department also confirmed five new cases of cholera out of a total 29 suspected cases, also in the east.
Samples sent to SA, Zambia
Confirming swine flu cases is slow because Zimbabwe's laboratories, having suffered a decade of neglect under President Robert Mugabe's past government, do not meet World Health Organisation standards and samples have to be sent to South Africa or Zambia for testing.
If we get a little bit of money, we have laboratories here which can do a good job," Health Minister Henry Madzorera told a press conference.
"The health system is no longer in ICU (intensive care unit) anymore. It is now up and about," he said. "When we start giving free health (treatment) to the old, the HIV-positive and pregnant women, then we know we are there," he added. - (Sapa-dpa, September 2009)