A Gambian delegation undergoing training on the results-based financing (RBF) project has hailed Zimbabwe's health system as one of the best in Africa.
Executive director, National Nutrition Agency and project coordinator for the RBF in The Gambia, Mr Modou Cheyassin Phall, said their 10-day visit to Zimbabwe taught them a number of lessons.
He was briefing journalists in Harare yesterday on their visit. "Zimbabwe has one of the best health systems in Africa," he said. "I have been to many African countries starting from West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and especially those English-speaking countries, but the health system I found in Zimbabwe is a model that needs to be emulated.
"I think this really shows that it is a sign of good leadership in your Ministry of Health, the office of the Permanent Secretary and below that you have, the various programme directors who are also equally committed and equally fitting into their positions.
"And the way the health system is being decentralised in this country from the central level, to the provincial level, to the district level, is very impressive.
"What also impresses me is the level of commitment of the staff, it looks like you have the right staff at the right place. They love their work and do it with passion, which I believe is what is needed for any profession to be successful."
Permanent Secretary in the office of the Vice President of Gambia Mrs Nancy Niang, who was leading the 19-member delegation said: "We went from Harare to Binga. You have the various faces of the provinces, but it is the same spirit of commitment that we came across.
"So, we have learnt quite a lot of issues. Your health sector is something else and this is why we have chosen Zimbabwe to come and study this RBF programme."
Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji said he was happy with the team's report. "Indeed, the team visited our various health facilities," he said. "The good thing is that they shared the positives and also shared the negatives and the gaps that we may need to address.
"We take that very seriously in that when we correct those gaps or deal with those challenges, it also improves on how our programmes are performing.
"They have given us a very comprehensive presentation with very precise and concise recommendations. We will be sitting down as top management team to look at these and see how we address them in the context of our results-based-financing programme."