Zimbabwe: Cholera Death Toll Hits 30

At least 36 recently said to have been admitted at the Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital for treatment (file photo).
17 September 2018

The number of people who have died of cholera has risen from 28 to 30 as Government, Harare City Council, the police and other stakeholders continue to make concerted efforts to curb the spread of the disease amid calls to declare the pandemic a state of disaster.

Government has increased the supply of water, drugs and other non-food materials to affected areas.

It is monitoring the situation.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo yesterday confirmed the death of two more people.

Recorded cases have reached 5 463.

"The total number of deaths has risen by two to 30 people who have died of cholera. Control measures remain in place.

"We are increasing water supplies and medication to the affected areas following assistance from various partners. We have also received drugs and protective clothing," said Dr Moyo.

He commended the Harare City Council and the police for removing illegal food vendors from the streets.

Dr Moyo said development partners were assisting with provision of water bowsers, medical supplies and other non-food items.

"The containment plan continues. Everything is in place and we continue to monitor the situation," he said.

Government last week declared the cholera outbreak in Harare a state of emergency due to the rising number of people dying or falling sick from the bacterial infection.

In a statement yesterday, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo said because of the magnitude of the public health emergency, a recommendation had been made to President Mnangagwa to declare the cholera menace a state of disaster.

"Subsection (1) of Section 27 of the Civil Protection Act Chapter 10:06 provides that if at any time it appears to the President that any disaster is of such a nature and extent that extraordinary measures are necessary to assist and protect the person affected or likely to be affected by the disaster in any area of the country, the President may in such a manner as he considers fit, declare that with effect from a date specified by him, a state of disaster exists within an area or areas specified by him in the declaration.

"The City of Harare is facing a plethora of challenges, notably insufficient safe water supplies, frequent sewer pipe bursts, uncollected refuse and rampant illegal vending. This has negatively impacted on public health in the city exposing residents to diarrhoeal disease outbreaks, an upsurge in typhoid fever cases and sporadic outbreaks of cholera," he said.

Minister Moyo said there was need to put in place strategic measures to manage the drivers of these outbreaks, notably water supply situation, the dilapidated sewer systems, waste management and illegal vending challenges.

"Given the foregoing demonstration on the magnitude of the public health emergency a recommendation has been made to His Excellency, the President, that the cholera menace in Harare Metropolitan Province and any other parts of the country be declared a state of disaster," he said.

The current cholera outbreak was first reported in Glen View and Budiriro.

Cases linked to the Harare outbreak have been reported in some parts of Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, the Midlands and Masvingo.

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