News / International
UK donates another 2.6 million US to the cholera fight
17 Oct 2018 at 15:08hrs | Views
Woman washing her hands
Since the start of the cholera outbreak in Harare at the beginning of September, the UK and its partners have been at the forefront supporting the efforts of the Government of Zimbabwe and the City of Harare Council in the response.
Today, Thursday 18th October, the Department for International Development, is making a further $2.6 million available to continue the critical work in health, water supply and sanitation.
This money will be used to:
- Provide essential healthcare and case management capacity, including vital medicines;
- Support frontline workers with the tools and support that they need;
- Train medical staff, community members and others in key hot spot areas to increase vigilance and response to suspected cases;
- Provide improved access to safe, clean water;
- Support the improvement of sewage pipes and the rapid repair of leakages and damage;
- Introduce longer term measures to deal with water supply and hygiene issues in some high density areas.
To date 9,168 cholera cases have been reported, with 54 deaths. Given the speed at which the disease spread – with up to 600 new cases a day at its peak - and proximity to the rainy season, it was critical that the response was timely and effective. The Department for International Development moved quickly to ‘crisis modify' existing health and water programmes allowing us to provide essential health and sanitation supplies at a critical time when they were needed most. Within days we mobilised funds to support UNICEF and other partners to purchase crucially important non-food items such as buckets, water purification tablets and soap.
Following the initial emergency response, a UK aid supported cholera vaccination campaign was launched on Wednesday 3 October that will vaccinate more than a million of those at risk. This campaign, and the vaccinations themselves, have been made available through the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). This is a global fund to which the UK is the largest contributor, contributing over $2 billion or 25% of all funds between 2016 – 2020. A similar programme targeted the four most-affected districts - Glen View, Glen Norah, Mbare and Buduriro. More than 400,000 people have so far been vaccinated. This represented an overall coverage of 95%. The campaign will now spread to other at-risk areas in and around the capital.
In addition to this, thanks to UK aid and other partners working with the Government and City Council, the following has been achieved:
- Cholera treatment centres (and Units) were set up and capacitated in Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital; Glenview; Budiriro and Chitungwiza;
- More than 280,000 people have been reached with key health and hygiene messages in cholera affected areas through different communication channels, including door to door campaigns;
- More than 10,500 families, 125 schools in the epicenter and 72 churches were reached with hygiene kits. These kits had soap for handwashing, point of use water treatment and information materials;
- More than 170,000 people have had improved access to safe water through water trucking and distribution of household water treatment chemicals.
Acting Head of DFID Zimbabwe, Dr Joanne Abbot says, "The UK is committed to working with partners to help tackle the outbreak of cholera in Harare.
Dr Mohamed Ayoya From UNICEF and Dr Joanne Abbot from DFID hold a hygiene kit
"We want to ensure most vulnerable are protected from this infectious disease and that Zimbabweans have improved access to safe, clean water."
Source - Agencies
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