Monday, March 31, 2008

Looking Ahead: How Not to Repair Zimbabwe's Health Care System

My friend and fellow Nieman fellow Andrew Meldrum has an article about the deteriorated health care system in Zimbabwe in this week's Lancet. The full text is completely available (after free registration) and well worth reading. The core message, for me, is looking forward to a post-Mugabe future (keep your fingers crossed on the election results).

Meldrum, who was kicked out of Zimbabwe by the Mugabe government in 2003, warns about the unintended consequences of too much aid too fast:

Those who know Zimbabwe and its people have no doubt that it will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of the current crisis. To do so rapidly will require massive external support. There is already talk of a Zimbabwean rescue package, with assurances of millions of dollars of emergency aid awaiting an acceptable resolution of the political crisis. But health-care officials warn of the destructive capacity of a sudden surfeit of funds. Especially, there is a fear that any new political dispensation may surrender Zimbabwe's hard-won ownership of its development programme to the agenda of a well funded international donor agency.

Related story:
Are Donors Promoting Corruption in Malawi?

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