Zimbabwe’s government criticized over cholera outbreak

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

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.

Cholera broke out in Harare's western suburb of Glen View last week, triggering an emergency response by the government and global aid agencies.

In 2017, more than 150,000 cholera cases were reported in 17 countries throughout Africa, according to the WHO.

She said WHO, the United Nations health agency, was working closely with the national authorities and partners to urgently respond to the outbreak. World Health Organization is leading the coordination of the response with technical support from the national rapid response team (NRRT) which includes UNICEF among other partners.

Residents in Harare were dealing with a "double punch" after a recent outbreak of typhoid. The outbreak was notified on 6 September 2018. The MDC-T also argued the Zanu PF administration had been rattled by Chamisa's show of force as "tens of thousands" received him in the cholera-hit high-density suburb of Glen View during a visit.

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As of September 9, it had spread to Mashonaland Central, Manicaland, Masvingo and the Midlands provinces, compounding the headache for Moyo.

"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".

Addressing the media on Thursday, Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo also announced an increase in the number of cholera cases with confirmed cases have now reached 3 766. Preliminary estimates suggests that the population at risk in the epicentre is 200,000 people.

Examination of water samples from some wells and boreholes in Harare, home to swaths of slum-like housing, tested positive for contamination with the disease.

Cholera, which can kill within hours if untreated, is caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

Zimbabwe, which was ruled by Robert Mugabe from independence in 1980 until his ousting a year ago, suffered its worst cholera outbreak in 2008. The situation is critical because the country is endemic to cholera.

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