Zimbabwe ready to fight prolonged cholera outbreak

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Cholera
Cholera

The Zimbabwean government has come up with a raft of measures to ensure that the cholera outbreak, which has so far resulted in 32 confirmed and 112 suspected cholera deaths, is contained before more people succumb to the water-borne disease.

Among the measures, the government has directed that all deaths be recorded and burials supervised, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Jenfan Muswere has said.

As of Tuesday, the country had recorded 5,123 suspected cases, 965 confirmed cases, 4,901 recoveries and 78 people in hospital, according to the latest situation report published by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

All the country’s 10 provinces have been affected by cholera, with Manicaland being the most affected since the current outbreak began on Feb. 12. Manicaland has recorded 2,421 suspected cases, 618 confirmed cases, 22 confirmed deaths and 63 suspected cholera deaths.

Buhera District in Manicaland Province has become a cholera hotspot, recording 726 suspected cases, 27 deaths and a cumulative case fatality rate of 3.7 percent, according to the latest information released by the government Tuesday.

The sustained occurrence of cholera in Buhera led the Minister of Health and Child Care Douglas Mombeshora to visit the district on Oct. 14 to assess the situation, said Muswere, who told a post-cabinet meeting media briefing that 46 people were admitted to cholera treatment centers across the district.

“The main drivers of the cholera outbreak in Buhera District included lack of safe water and use of river water,” he said.

The cabinet had approved that doctors be deployed to visit all cholera treatment centers in the district and that more staff be mobilized to support the cholera treatment centers.

The cabinet also directed that the setting up of cholera treatment camps and oral rehydration points closer to the community be finalized and that eight boreholes be sunk in the district, Muswere said.

It has also been established that transmission is generally high during public gatherings such as funerals and religious gatherings. Therefore, the cabinet directed that the community engagement and capacity building of traditional and religious leaders on public health measures to control cholera be intensified and that all funerals in the district should be supervised.

Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, remains at risk of cholera transmissions, as the city has recorded 1,648 suspected cases, 125 confirmed ones, one confirmed death and four suspected deaths.

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