Without giving a timeline, Chiwenga said the existing health infrastructure were to be refurbished to improve access to healthcare for the majority of Zimbabweans.
In a speech read on his behalf by Health deputy minister John Mangwiro during World Aids Day commemorations in Chinhoyi on Wednesday, the former military boss said:
In strengthening the response to COVID-19, we are not negating HIV and other pandemics, including non-communicable diseases, as our theme suggests.
The recent emergence of COVID-19 has exposed our systems and I am happy that government is prioritising the whole health delivery system for revamping, so that we can better deal with pandemics, which tend to spread faster and kill more people if the health delivery sector is weakened.
In this regard, my ministry is spearheading the construction of 32 new hospitals, refurbishing and equipping old ones to ensure that all our people access modern healthcare services, and that all inequalities in access are shattered.
Chiwenga said despite the COVID-19-induced disruptions to HIV service delivery in 2020, the country’s response to HIV was on the rebound.
Zimbabwe’s health sector, like many other sectors, collapsed decades ago following an economic downturn. The situation was reportedly worsened by political elites who have been allegedly looting resources meant to revive the sector.
Political elites have also been neglecting the sector allegedly because they have been getting medical attention abroad.