5 October 2018

Zimbabwe: Govt Hails Decline in Cholera Cases

Photo: WHO/Paul Garwood
A health worker checks patients' intravenous (IV) fluid infusions at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Clinic in Harare. The clinic has established a cholera treatment centre (file photo).

Government will continue implementing short and long-term measures to prevent the outbreak of cholera and typhoid and is pleased with the sharp decline in the number of people being admitted in hospitals due to water-borne diseases, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this on Tuesday while briefing journalists on Cabinet deliberations earlier in the day.

Cholera has so far killed 49 people and infected thousands others, mainly in Harare since its outbreak on September 6.

"Government continues to carry out short-term measures to address the current outbreak of cholera and typhoid as well as the long-term measures to prevent a recurrence of the same epidemics," she said.

"It is pleasing to note that whilst the outbreak is not yet over, there is now a sharp decline in the number of cases of patients being admitted in hospitals due to cholera infections."

Minister Mutsvangwa said Government was also happy with the cleanliness now prevailing in cities.

This followed the removal of illegal vendors from the Harare central business district (CBD) through joint efforts by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and council.

"Government is also pleased by the rise in improvement in the cleanliness of our cities and appeals to all our people and the business fraternity to continue observing general personal hygiene and to prioritise cleanliness of the environment so as to effectively contain the disease," she said.

As part of short-term measures to prevent the recurrence of cholera, Government has rolled out an oral vaccine programme.

The programme will see over 500 000 Glen View, Budiriro, Glen Norah and Mbare residents receiving an oral vaccine that protects them from bacteria causing cholera.

It will later be widened to cover 900 000 people from eight other suburbs in Harare, two in Chitungwiza and Epworth.

The vaccination programme is only a short term measure to contain the disease and gives council time to address water and sanitation infrastructure as a long term solution to preventing cholera outbreaks.

The outbreak of cholera is attributable to failure by council to replace the old sewer and water network.

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