IOM supports Zimbabwe's health sector revival

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental organization helping to mitigate the impact of migration is helping the government of Zimbabwe to reverse brain drain in the health sector by facilitating the return of health professionals who left the country due to its economic meltdown.

According to Yukiko Kumashiro, Programme Support Officer for IOM-Zimbabwe, over the past decade, Zimbabwe has experienced social and economic challenges that have led to increasing levels of poverty, lack of economic opportunities and a general deterioration in the working envrionment for many professionals.

"As a result, a large number of highly skilled professionals including health workers and lecturers have migrated to their countries in search of better economic opportunities," she said.

She added that health training institutions in Zimbabwe have experienced persistent staffing challenges.
Kumashiro says that since 2008, IOM Zimbabwe has been implementing the EU and Japanese government funded "Sequenced Short-term Return of Health Professionals" project which has facilitated the temporary return of 54 Zimbabwean lecturers based in the diaspora.

She adds that of these, 43 are health professionals who have come to teach at various state universities around the country. The iniative seeks to contribute towards the rebuilding of Zimbabwe's health and higher education sectors through harnessing the experience and skills of Zimbabwean professionals in the diaspora, thereby helping to mitigate the negative effects of the brain drain.

Kumashiro adds that in addition to teaching course modules, some lecturers also supervise research students,moderate exminations and contribute towards curriculum review.

Zimbabwean professionals have returned from various countries including the United Kingdom,South Africa, USA, Rwanda, Kuwait, Canada and Botswana.

They are reported to have lectured to over 1,500 students in various areas of specialization including pathology, anaesthetics, paediatrics, haematology, radiotherapy, HIV and AIDS, agriculture, animal nutrition, molecular biology, hydrometallurgy, applied mechanics and design, computer science, animal breeding and genetics, science, engineering, agriculture and ICT among others, according to Kumashiro.


Wallace Mawire

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