The quality of medical and health sector skills plays a pivotal role in the performance of a nation’s health care system. The functionality and growth of health care sector are highly dependent on availability and quality of medical and health workforce. Zimbabwe needs more skilled medical and health human resources to deliver essential health interventions and increase the number of specialized health care professionals.
According to the National Critical Skills Audit (2018) there is an overall 95 percent skills shortage in the medical and health sector in Zimbabwe. Within the Medical Specialists category there are only three (3) Specialist Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons to cater for heart disease patients; only eleven (11) Specialist Radiotherapists and Oncologists to deal with various types of cancers; thirty-nine (39) Pediatricians to cater for all 2,711,017 children under the age of fourteen (14), which is also not sufficient to reduce the child mortality rate of 57 per 1,000 live births in Zimbabwe and only one (1) Specialist Clinical Immunologist in the infectious Medicine category. The percentage shortages were found to be mostly above 80% for all medical professions with deficits amongst of Surgeons (99.13%), Medical Specialists (99%), Obstetrics and gynecologists standing at 96%.
Medical institutions participating in the initiative have undertaken needs assessments and have identified critical gaps:
- University of Zimbabwe – College of Health Sciences (UZ-CHS)
- National University of Science and Technology (NUST)