On the 18th of October, ROOTS under the RHRN platform had a breakfast meeting with parliament of Zimbabwe. T
he breakfast meeting had its main objective in following up on commitments made by Zimbabwean Parliamentarians who attended the meeting.The Zimbabwe delegation comprised of ROOTS, ZNFPC, WCOZ and Dr Labode, Hn Jasmine Tofa, Hn Tongofa, Yeukai Chuma, Edna Mafuruse, Nancy Chabuda and Tendai Changamire who is the Right Here Right Now National Coordinator. In 2017 the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health attended the NEAPACOH (Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health) meeting in Kampala, Uganda. The specific objectives of the 2017 NEAPACOH meeting were to assess progress made, challenges and lessons learnt on achieving the country commitments made at the September 2014 NEAPACOH meeting and have a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities for SRHR in the post-2015 development agenda, share experiences and innovative practices on the implementation of RH including FP commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, enhance accountability, political leadership and stewardship for the implementation of RH/FP frameworks in the region in the context of the SDGs; and develop country-specific action plans for parliamentarians that promote RH/FP for implementation over the coming 12 months. The meeting was attended by participants from 19 African countries, both Parliamentarians and technocrats. The countries represented included; Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Chad Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Other participants included representatives of development partners, NGOs, Civil Society and other important stakeholders engaged in Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternal and Child Health programs. By the end of the meeting, the MPs made country commitments towards addressing Reproductive Health/ Family Planning. A resolution (The Kampala Call for Action) was adopted by participants, committing to address a number of issues regarding RH/FP. Here they committed to influence inclusion of SRHR and Family Planning in the Public Health Bill, to lobby for 15% to be allocated to Ministry of Health and Child Care, to lobby for the enactment of the National Health Insurance Scheme and to lobby for the reduction of the cost of blood and blood products.
Objectives of the breakfast meeting were as follows:
- To provide a platform to follow up on commitments made at the NEAPACOH meeting.
- To hold decision makers to account for their policy commitments on Human rights through a stronger civil society voice and meaningful participation in decision making.
- To track and monitor progress on commitments made at the NEAPACOH
After a hearty breakfast there was a presentation on the background of RHRN and work done in all LTOs by the national coordinator. This was then followed by a presentation on NEAPACOH and the commitments made by Zimbabwe at the conference by Katswe Sisterhood. Most importantly there was a discussion and follow up on the commitments made.