Zimbabwe faces many health challenges. In a country with significant threats from HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, measles, and, now, Covid-19, there is a severe shortage of healthcare professionals. Although public hospitals and clinics exist in cities, they lack equipment, medicines, and supplies. Rural areas are in worse shape. There are few working clinics, health care workers visit infrequently, and transportation to city hospitals is difficult. The sobering result is that, of the 193 countries in the world, Zimbabwe ranks 178th in the world in life expectancy.
Lack of access to nutritious foods also affects health in Zimbabwe. Over one-fourth of the children in Zimbabwe, including Central Zimbabwe, are stunted—meaning that they are significantly small for their age. Such stature is predictive of higher disease incidence, higher mortality, reduced cognitive development, and reduced earning capacity. At the same time, other conditions associated with an unhealthy diet, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, are a growing concern in the country.
In the face of these challenges, Noah’s FARM is working to improve access to health care and health education in Central Zimbabwe.