The Zimbabwe Health Transition Fund (HTF) is a multi-donor pooled fund whose overall purpose is to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Zimbabwe. The HTF is managed by UNICEF and was developed in consultation and collaboration with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, donors and multilateral agencies in Zimbabwe in direct response to priorities and gaps identified in the Zimbabwe National Health Strategy (2009-2013) and the Zimbabwe Health Sector Investment Case (2010-2012).
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: increased coverage of obstetric and newborn care system; improved responsiveness of community health services system for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) and nutrition; strengthened national delivery of Expanded Programme of Immunisation and integrated management of newborn and childhood illnesses by rural health centres; enhanced delivery of nutritional supplements to mothers, infants and young children.
In the three years of implementation, the Health Transition Fund (HTF) contributed to the removal of certain challenges within the health system thereby enabling the accelerated implementation of high impact cost effective MNCH and nutrition interventions. The HTF supported the retainment and capacity building of human resources in the health system, availed essential medicines, vaccines and commodities particularly in rural facilities, ensuring that facilities were better able to pay for the critical items and services at facility level through the Health Services Fund (HSF). The HTF also strengthened the monitoring and evaluation system. Results achieved as of the end of the project (February 2014) include: (1) a significant increase in skilled birth attendance to 80% by 2014, up from 60% in 2009; (2) 1,600 Village Health Workers were trained in 40 districts using the revised integrated training package; (3) stunting in children under five years decreased from 35% in 2009 to 27.6% in 2014; (4) 11 new Hospital Medicine and Therapeutics Committees were formed in 2014. (5) a significant reduction of staff turnover in the supported facilities and positions, the overall vacancy rate among health workers dropped from 21% in 2012 to 16% in 2014; and (6) the Vital Medicines and Health Services Survey reports reveal that the number of primary health facilities offering free full maternity services increased from 86.8% in 2013 to 95.7% in 2014; (7) the percentage of primary health facilities offering free services to children under five increased to from 95.9% to 97.7%.