Medicine

Zimbabwe cholera deaths rise to 25 as WHO steps up response

Zimbabwe cholera deaths rise to 25 as WHO steps up response

Authorities have banned public gatherings in the city as a health measure.

THE death of some 20 people in the latest cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has been blamed on the government's failure to invest in infrastructure and health systems.

JOHANNESBURG -The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has postponed the mock inauguration of Nelson Chamisa.

"It is clear that the government is abusing the cholera epidemic for political purposes and puts into serious doubt that the ban of our commemoration event was out of genuine concern".

"We are working so hard to ensure we stop further spread of the disease and also curb deaths by all account".

Zimbabwe's new Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has set up an emergency crowd fund to raise money to fight the outbreak.

"It is alarming and quite unusual for such a medieval and preventable disease to continue to claim such valuable lives in this day and age", said the Civil Society Health Emergency Response Coordinating Committee in a statement.

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"Churches are faced with a special challenge, because they gather thousands of people every week and it is in such gatherings that the spread of the pandemic can be accelerated", Dr Dr Kenneth Mtata, the General Secretary of the national ecumenical group the Zimbabwe Council of Churches said.

It is working with worldwide partners to rapidly expand recommended cholera response actions, including increasing access to clean and safe water in the most affected communities and decommissioning contaminated water supplies.

The worst cholera outbreak in the country in 2008 killed 4,000 people.

The MDC is in charge of the Harare City Council which is accused of failing to provide running water and collect rubbish from residential areas regularly while government has also been fingered for being the author of the current macro-economic hardships that has brought poverty among Zimbabweans and made it hard for local authorities to function flawlessly.

Mnangagwa has pledged to tackle the current outbreak.

A World Health Organization situation report revealed that first-line antibiotics were struggling to treat the disease, which has spread to five of the country's 10 provinces.

The ceremony was due to be the first for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to cap University of Zimbabwe graduates.


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