Cholera outbreak: state of emergency declared in Zimbabwe

A patient inside a cholera treatment tent at the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare on 11 September 2018

More than 3,000 people had been infected by cholera and the disease had now spread outside the capital, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told a meeting of government departments.

With the help of worldwide agencies, the outbreak was controlled, and by July 2009, after no cases had been reported for several weeks, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare declared the outbreak over.

Tests from some wells and boreholes showed water was contaminated with cholera and typhoid-causing bacteria.

In December 2008, the Zimbabwean government declared the outbreak a national emergency and requested global aid.

World Health Organization is providing cholera kits which contain oral rehydration solution, intravenous fluids and antibiotics to cholera treatment centres.

From there the disease has spread to four other provinces.

He said his ministry has come up with a platform for effective communication to ensure schools remain safe. "We are working very hard to help the government".

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Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, the president of the republic of Zimbabwe, said: "My thoughts and prayers are with those suffering from the cholera outbreak, and the loved ones of those we have lost". The disease is more common in developing nations and those that are densely populated and economically backward.

Such outbreaks are common as local authorities are battling to provide potable water and sanitation facilities in the city, where slums without running water have mushroomed and whose infrastructure is falling apart due to years of neglect.

"As the government itself has now admitted, this is a national disaster which requires an immediate and effective response".

The President of Zimbabwe in a tweet said, "My thoughts & prayers are with those suffering from the cholera outbreak, and the loved ones of those we have lost".

The cholera outbreak, first detected in the township of Glen View outside Harare on September 5, has prompted the health ministry to declare an emergency in the capital.

"I urge all residents of affected areas to exercise extra care with their hygiene and follow the instructions of the authorities as we seek to contain and overcome this outbreak".

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