After nearly four years of armed conflict in Cabo Delgado, “liberated zones” such as Mocímboa da Praia and Palma are emerging. These regions are finally registering some appeasement, after the terror that took more than two thousand lives and forced more than 850 thousand people to flee their areas of origin.
With this appeasement moment, the Government is already positioning itself to restore basic services, taking into account that the health sector is crucial for the well-being of the inhabitants of that area.
The health sector, which was already registering anomalies, has become more problematic with the occurrence of armed conflict. After the communities fled their areas, access to health care became more problematic.
Some may ask: why does access to basic services become more distant, at a moment that health units are present in the refugee camps?
In response to this concern, we would argue, without fear, that the structure and the health technician are not the service, they are part of it. There is a lack of quality, a lack of medicines and a lack of space in the health centers.
The situation is so complicated and it made UNFPA sound the alarm in July. It needed money to fill the “holes” that the State can’t fill.
UNFPA needs $12 million to provide emergency health and protection services for women and girls who have been displaced and impacted by the recent attacks in Cabo Delgado, including their host communities”, said representatives of this United Nations organization.
Interviews, conducted by different media outlets, emphasize what the UN says: “there is a lack of medicine, a lack of dignified conditions in places where there are several women, children and the pandemic of COVID-19.”
The statements are not only from the population, but also from the technicians allocated to the health units, where can be found people who feel the terrorism in the flesh.
The reinstatement of services by the Government makes part of the Reconstruction Plan for Cabo Delgado. The general objective of the plan is to guarantee a safe return to the communities, allowing people to forget the drama of the resettlement zones.
According to the document on the mapping, carried out in the liberated zones, there was total destruction of 10 health units, partial destruction of 29 units, and vandalizing of another 39 units, out of 131 health units.
Because the return of the communities is already being considered, the rule is “rebuild now”. However, there are several limitations.
The Reconstruction Plan is estimated to cost 300 million US dollars, with a deficit of 200 million dollars. Insufficient resources significantly affect the health sector – a sector that has no “extra” funding.
Data available in the plan indicate that, in the short term, one million and forty-five thousand dollars is destined to the health sector.
Looking at the two emergency requests from the government and UNFAP, it is noticed a difference of about $11 million, with the plan focusing more on infrastructure reconstruction.
With this observation, we don’t intend to discredit the government’s plan. Nevertheless, we raise a reflection on the approach that the government has been taking to deal with the health sector, a vital area for the well-being of the population. Although it is true that the plan, at this stage, is focused on the recovered areas.
With this, we raise the following question: is one million enough to build, equip and provide all the necessary services in the health sector, taking into account all the conditioning factors?
The OCS found that Cabo Delgado province receives, on average, 8% of the resources destined to the Health Sector.
Source: CGE 2015-2019
Well! This is a question that we hope to see answered by the authorities. The appeal remains: rebuilding the health sector is not just about infrastructures, it is also about providing quality in the health services.