Cholera: Zimbabwe declares state of emergency

Desiree Burns
September 16, 2018

Moyo has linked the outbreak to poor waste disposal systems and broken sewers which may have contaminated water sources in Harare.

World Health Organization said it is assisting the Government to track down cases and is providing cholera kits to treatment centres in Harare.

Early this week, police announced a blanket ban on all public gatherings in the capital, including funeral processions as well as church meetings, as part of efforts by authorities to deal with the killer waterborne disease ravaging the capital and threatening to spread across the country. This is according to the statement given by the new health minister, Obadiah Moyo.

"We also thought that it is not unreasonable given the fact that institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe, which are further away from the epicentre of the cholera menace, have had to shelve their graduation ceremony", he said.

"The number of cases has continued to soar", he said.

Harare has also requested for drinking water from agencies under United Nations as well as from private organization.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday urged the Harare city council and other local authorities to work on improving sanitation to prevent water-borne diseases.

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Almost 4,000 people have been infected with cholera, which has been declared a health emergency in Harare.

Typhoid is also ravaging the southern city of Gweru, with 10 people already having succumbed to the disease.

Under former leader Robert Mugabe, who was in power from Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 until being removed from office by the military late a year ago, corruption and economic mismanagement were endemic.

The federation said people in the affected areas could help curtail the spread of cholera by ensuring they drink clean water, maintain high standards of hygiene and sanitation and sharing tools and information to limit new outbreaks.

Cholera is expanding in Harare, the country's capital with a population of more than 2 million people.

Mothers and their babies suspected to have cholera wait to be screened in a quarantine area in Harare, Friday, Sept, 14, 2018, after a cholera emergency was declared following the deaths of more than 20 people. "Every death from cholera is preventable", Matshidiso Moeti, WHO director for Africa, said.

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