The Economic Crisis (2008-2019) and Health Care in Zimbabwe: A Structured Literature Review

Manenji Mangundu1, Lizeth Roets1, *, Janse van Rensburg ES1
1 Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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© 2023 Mangundu et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa; Tel: +27029530059; E-mail:



The multi-prolonged nature and severity of the economic crisis (2008-2019) in Zimbabwe provided a distinct prospect to analyse the impact of economic crisis on the healthcare system. According to the System Model, the possible effect on health infrastructure, material resources, human resources, and financial resources is relevant.


The structured literature review aimed to conduct an analysis of available evidence referring to the impact of economic crisis on health care in Zimbabwe between 2008 and 2019.


A search of publications in English with inclusion criteria of timeframe between January, 2008 and December, 2019 that referred to the effect or impact of the economic crisis on health care was conducted utilising databases, such as Google Scholar, EBSCOhost, Pubmed, and UNISA repository. A thematic analysis for data extraction and synthesis was carried out. Exclusion criteria referred to irrelevance to the objectives and inappropriateness.


A total of 87 research publications were identified on various databases for analyses, 75 were excluded at different stages of screening, and 12 were included in the study. The thematic analysis, conducted according to the steps explained by Tesch (in Creswell 2014), revealed economic effects on health care in four themes: public health infrastructure, health workers, medical drugs, and public health expenditure and management, which were affected by an economic crisis.


The effects of the economic crisis were evident in terms of negative changes in the healthcare delivery system, including a reduction in medical drug supply, loss of human resources, reduced financial resources, and an increase in the disease burden.

Keywords: Economic crisis, Bealthcare, Structured review, Health infrastructure, Health care, Human resource.