Intra-Provincial Inequalities In The Provision Of Health Care In The Midlands Province Of Zimbabwe
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The objective of this paper is to assess the magnitude of spatial inequalities in opportunity levels for access to western type health care facilities and personnel in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. There are three main reasons for focusing on the provision of health facilities at the provincial level. Firstly, there is need to complement the recent national studies on the provision of basic social services in Zimbabwe carried out by Zinyama (1987) and Zanamwe (1988) by focusing on the meso-scale level such as the administrative region. Secondly, adequate health care is a basic requirement needed by all and yet its provision in Zimbabwe is still very uneven. Comprehensive facilities are found especially in the major urban areas while in rural areas only rudimentary health services are found. It is the rural areas which are in most need of comprehensive and accessible health care facilities because of the low sanitation standards in these areas. Rural communities commonly draw their drinking water from contaminated sources, consequently diseases related to unhygienic conditions and unsafe drinking water are prevalent. Thirdly, the Midlands province provides an interesting context for examining intra-provincial inequalities in the provision of medical care because it is one of the most heterogeneous provinces in the country in terms of differences in the levels of urbanization, provision of infrastructure, ecological diversity, economic activities, ethnic composition and migration patterns.