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techkenyot.com September 21, 2018


Zimbabwe gov't declares state of emergency as cholera outbreak takes toll

15 September 2018, 01:06 | Silvia Roy

How will Zimbabwe's opposition navigate ban on public gatherings?

How will Zimbabwe's opposition navigate ban on public gatherings

Authorities have banned public gatherings Harare while health ministry personnel are supervising burials of victims.

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.

Plans by Zimbabwe's main opposition party to conduct a mock inauguration ceremony for its candidate Nelson Chamisa on Saturday may be affected by Wednesday's ban on all public gatherings in the capital Harare.

Chamisa toured a health facility and called on the United Nations to help contain the situation.

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"It's more than just an emergency it is a national disaster", he said.

Britain warned people thinking of visiting Harare about the cholera outbreak and urged travellers to learn to recognise symptoms of the disease.

"The current cholera epidemic is a bad effect of Zimbabwe's failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its health care system".

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

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The Government of Zimbabwe has declared a state of emergency and 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.

A total of 4,000 people died and at least 100,000 people fell ill.

"But no lessons were learned from the 2008 epidemic, and the outbreak and deaths we're seeing now is symptomatic of a still-broken sanitation infrastructure and poor sewer management, worsened by shortages of drugs and medical supplies".

"The authorities must invest in proper sanitation and health infrastructure and ensure universal access to health care".

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Cholera, a water borne disease, can be prevented by taking precautions such as washing hands thoroughly with clean water, only drinking water from safe sources and storing clean water in covered containers.



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