Geneva, Harare to bol­ster bi­lat­eral ties

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fari­rai Machivenyika Se­nior Re­porter

SWITZER­LAND has pledged to sup­port Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic re­form process as part of ef­forts to strengthen bi­lat­eral ties be­tween the two na­tions.

The pledge was made by the head of the Fed­eral De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs of Switzer­land, Coun­cil­lor Ig­nazio Cas­sis, who was in the coun­try on Wed­nes­day.

He toured New­lands Clinic in Harare, which pri­mar­ily of­fers HIV and Aids treat­ment, coun­selling and re­search.

It is op­er­ated by the Ruedi Luthy Foun­da­tion founded by Pro­fes­sor Ruedi Luthy and re­ceives fi­nan­cial sup­port from the Swiss gov­ern­ment.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists soon after meet­ing Health and Child Care Min­is­ter Dr Oba­diah Moyo, Mr Cas­sis said his gov­ern­ment was will­ing to pro­vide sup­port to the coun­try’s health sec­tor.

“We are here in Zim­babwe with our em­bassy and with our Swiss De­vel­op­ment Agency and we will sup­port the ef­forts of the min­istry and of the new Gov­ern­ment to sta­bilise the sit­u­a­tion and put into place the reforms, the eco­nomic reforms you plan to do and just to have a good relationship with Zim­babwe,” he said.

Gov­ern­ment is im­ple­ment­ing var­i­ous policy ini­tia­tives aimed at im­prov­ing the coun­try’s busi­ness cli­mate and at­tract in­vest­ment.

Mr Cas­sis com­mended the work be­ing done at the clinic to as­sist HIV and Aids pa­tients.

“The con­cept of car­ing for per­sons here is a holis­tic con­cept of car­ing for the peo­ple,” he said. “It’s a com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach of deal­ing with per­sons who are suf­fer­ing.

“I en­joyed very much to see the ef­forts be­ing made on the many is­sues the clinic is deal­ing with. I have heard that more than 10 000 peo­ple have been cared for here and over 6 500 who have been cared for are HIV and Aids pa­tients.”

In his re­marks, Dr Moyo com­mended Pro­fes­sor Luthy for his ef­forts in com­bat­ing HIV and Aids in the coun­try through pro­vi­sion of the lat­est tech­nolo­gies to deal with the dis­ease and also train­ing of med­i­cal per­son­nel.

“I was also happy that you are sup­port­ing this clinic through a grant and I was say­ing to the min­is­ter (Mr Cas­sis) we would like to im­prove our relationship and to see more investors com­ing into Zim­babwe to in­vest in the health sec­tor,” he said.

“We would want to see the es­tab­lish­ment of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries here in the health sec­tor in Zim­babwe and the min­is­ter has in­di­cated that they are go­ing to look at those pos­si­bil­i­ties and that he is here to cre­ate a con­ducive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment be­tween our two na­tions. We are happy that you have cho­sen health as your num­ber one (pri­or­ity).”

— Picture by Ku­dak­washe Hunda

Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube re­sponds to ques­tions from the floor while hosts Tin­odaishe Man­de­bvu (second from right) and Kudzai Mil­ton Murongazvombo lis­ten at the Road to Davos town hall meet­ing with Global Shapers Com­mu­nity mem­bers in Harare yesterday.

Coun­cil­lor Ig­nazio Cas­sis

Dr Moyo

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