Non-communicable disease prevention and management in health financing: What can be done at policy level? – A desk review


Zimbabwe has a high burden of disease to which all the six building blocks that make up a health system are compromised (MoHCC 2009). These are the leadership and governance, health care financing, health workforce, information and research, medical products and service delivery (World Health Organization (WHO) 2014). Factors that led to the detriment of the blocks went beyond the confines of the health sector. Political, environmental and economic factors since independence in 1980 to date have played a role in shaping the way the health system functions (Chikanda 2007).

To date there has been a noticeable reduction in the prevalence of the diseases, while non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which were overshadowed by the prevalence of infectious diseases increase. (Chokunonga 2010; Mutowo 2014). NCDs account for 31% of morbidity (World Health Organization: WHO 2014; World Bank 2016).

The WHO attributes the high burden of disease to 1. A change in population lifestyles and 2. The underfunding of the health sector due to low revenue realised from the fiscus that funds the national budget. This has been reiterated in several academic, development and Zimbabwean government publications (Johnston 1999; Chikanda 2007; Ministry of Health and Child Care MoHCC 2009; Public Expenditure Report (PER) 2011; Shamu 2012; Sithole 2013; World Bank 2016).

Source: Rumbidzai Mashavave