Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Cholera kills 69 in 4 months….. Bulawayo remains safe

By Andile Tshuma

Sixty-nine people died of cholera between January and April this year countrywide but Bulawayo remains safe from the disease.

A nurse takes care of a cholera patient during a visit of Zimbabwe Minister of Health, at the cholera treatment centre of the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, in Harare, on September 11, 2018. At least 18 people have died over the past week in the Zimbabwe capital Harare and scores fallen ill after a cholera and typhoid outbreak in some areas, authorities said on September 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA
A nurse takes care of a cholera patient during a visit of Zimbabwe Minister of Health, at the cholera treatment centre of the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, in Harare, on September 11, 2018. At least 18 people have died over the past week in the Zimbabwe capital Harare and scores fallen ill after a cholera and typhoid outbreak in some areas, authorities said on September 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

The Ministry of Health and Child Care in a statement yesterday said more than 10 400 cases of the disease were reported during the period.

The cholera epidemic which swept across Harare and its surroundings, prompted the Health Ministry to embark on a mass cholera vaccination programme which targeted more than one million people.

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Bulawayo however remains safe as all suspected cases had been of people who had travelled from cholera prone areas.

“No suspected cases of cholera and deaths were reported during the week ending 14 April 2019.This brings the total number of deaths to 69 out of 10 421 cases reported so far this year,” said the ministry.

Last week, Director of Epidemiology & Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira, in a telephone interview said the ministry was working to combat the cholera epidemic.

She said the mass vaccination programme for cholera in Harare, Epworth and Chitungwiza was yielding results.

“As a ministry we are working hard to ensure that we rid the country of cholera. Efforts are yielding results and we are just having problems of typhoid here and there but the situation is under control.

“As I speak, we have just completed a mass cholera vaccination programme in Manicaland province where we administered the cholera vaccines to Cyclone Idai victims,” said Dr Manangazira.

“We vaccinated slightly more than a million people in Harare and also vaccinated just above 500 000 people in Manicaland province in areas including Chimanimani where Cyclone Idai struck leaving people displaced and living under poor sanitation conditions,” said Dr Manangazira

She said in order to contain the cholera outbreak in Harare, Government had installed mobile toilets in the epicentres of the disease in Glen View and Budiriro while safe water was also being provided to schools.

She urged communities to practice high standards of hygiene and called on local authorities to provide clean water to residents. The Chronicle