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Zimbabwe cholera outbreak jolts UN

by Staff reporter
07 Dec 2023 at 05:30hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE's cholera death toll and confirmed cases have jumped beyond the anticipated threshold, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned.

In a statement dated December 5, OCHA expressed concern over the cholera outbreak.

Zimbabwe has recorded 10 263 suspected cholera cases, 1 409 confirmed cases and 230 deaths as of December 3.

"The number of recorded weekly new cases remains above 1 000 and the crude mortality rate above expected standard, with a record 18 deaths recorded last week," OCHA said.

Government declared a state of emergency on November 17 to help mobilise resources to fight the waterborne disease.

On Tuesday, government said it was improving water, sanitation and hygiene in affected communities to curb the outbreak.

Government also said it had intensified risk communication and engagement, including the involvement of religious and local leadership in the fight against cholera.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said recurrent cholera outbreaks were worrying.

"The persisting and recurrent outbreaks of cholera give a poor reflection of the health and development status of the country," Rusike said.

"There is need to establish sustainable solutions for the preventable of cholera particularly with the stakeholders that interface with communities who bear the brunt of avoidable illness and deaths due to the preventable disease, and the media as they enable the messages to be relayed to a larger audience."

Earlier this week, the European Union pledged €1 million to support Zimbabwe in the cholera fight.

Last week, the Red Cross Federation said the outbreak was putting at risk over 10 million people, including more than five million children.

Cholera is a water-borne disease caused by ingesting contaminated food or water and can kill within hours if left untreated.

Source - Newsday
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