Medicine

Public gatherings banned in Zimbabwe capital over cholera

Public gatherings banned in Zimbabwe capital over cholera

The cholera outbreak highlights the failure of Zimbabwe's government to maintain basic public health standards, said Amnesty International.

Authorities report that the outbreak began on 1 September in Harare and as of that date to 11 September, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reports that there have been almost 2000 suspected cholera cases, including 58 confirmed cases and 24 deaths.

Residents in some Harare suburbs have gone for months without tap water, forcing them to dig shallow wells and boreholes that have been contaminated by raw sewage flowing from burst pipes.

"The newly-elected government must learn from its predecessor's mistakes and take action that stops people dying from preventable diseases", said Amnesty's Jessica Pwiti.

Cholera is a major public health problem in the African region and just two weeks ago Health Ministers from the region committed to ending cholera outbreaks by 2030 by implementing key strategies.

"This will enable us to contain cholera and typhoid in the city as quickly as possible", Moyo told journalists after visiting a cholera treatment centre in Harare.

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He said his ministry has come up with a platform for effective communication to ensure schools remain safe.

Dr Moyo said resources have been promised by UNICEF, Delta and Stanbic Bank, and appealed to other well wishers in the corporate world for more resources emphasising that the 2008 loss of lives should be averted.

"We have also alerted our regional offices and headquarters because we know this is a very serious issue, which will need quite huge investments to contain the outbreak. We are working very hard to help the government". Fambirai said in a statement, "The conditions that necessitate the spread of cholera and typhoid in Zimbabwe have not changed since the 2008 outbreak". The disease is more common in developing nations and those that are densely populated and economically backward.

"What is more important is for the councils to make sure that sanitation in their area is up to date and that water is clean".

"To contain the outbreak and mobilise resources we have declared a state of emergency in Harare, and are working closely with our global partners", Mnangagwa said Wednesday on Twitter.