By Byron Mutingwende
A delegation from Gambia is in Zimbabwe to exchange notes with the country on how to implement results based financing (RBF) on maternal and child nutrition health (MCNH) project, it has emerged.
Speaking at a welcome reception for the Gambian delegation in Harare on Monday 3 September 2017, Aldrin Musiiwa, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care said result based financing is a new approach to financing healthcare services through paying for results.
“Zimbabwe, like many other progressive and developing health systems is always looking at innovative ways to improve on health services delivery to its population and likewise the embracing of results based financing in our implementation of results based management,” Musiiwa said.
This is the third time that Zimbabwe has hosted Gambians in exchanging knowledge on RBF and the national health strategy to deliver health care services.
“You are indeed welcome and we have prepared to share knowledge and show you our health delivery system, not only in the urban setting but in the rural setting as well.”
The deputy minister said his ministry initiated the RBF with technical assistance from the World Bank from a short pilot phase that took six months to a nation wide program in less three years.
There are now more funders to the RBF through a pooled fund (the Health Development Fund). The Ministry of Finance has been very supportive financially to the programme.
Nancy Niang, Gambia’s Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs said health was among the key priorities of her government. She promised that within six months of the exchange visit, Gambia would have implemented the lessons learnt.
Among top officials from Gambia in the 19-member delegation were Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Abdoulie Jallow, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and Dr. Momodou Waggeh, the Chief Executive Officer of Ferafenni General Hospital.
Dr. Gerald Gwinji, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the delegation would meet health officials at the ministry’s head office, provincial and district executives as well as urban and rural community health centres since the project was of national significance.
The focus of RBF is to improve on poor populations’ access to health services, including reducing financial barriers; strengthening health services quality through improving health facility performance and management and to promote results orientation to contribute to the sustainability of health service provision.