Police ban public gatherings after cholera outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
September 15, 2018

The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to 24 with first-line antibiotics struggling to treat the disease which has spread from the capital, a World Health Organisation report said on Thursday. "This will enable us to contain the cholera, typhoid and whatever is going on, to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible", Moyo said Tuesday while visiting areas most affected by the outbreak in the city.

Poor water treatment systems and poor sanitation and hygiene practices are conducive to spread of cholera among these populations.

The Minister announced that drastic measures including the banning of vending in Glenview and Budiriro as one of the ways to stop the disease's further spread.

The ban on public gatherings comes as opposition leader Nelson Chamisa was planning a rally to conduct a mock inauguration ceremony, claiming he was cheated out of victory in elections held in July.

"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".

Authorities say there are more than 3,000 suspected cases of cholera with some 45 confirmed.

"As the government itself has now admitted, this is a national disaster which requires an immediate and effective response". The area is vulnerable to cholera because of inadequate supplies of safe piped water, which has led people to use alternative unsafe supplies such as wells and boreholes.

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

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe, has pledged to revive the economy and improve public services. In order to contain the outbreak and mobilise resources we have declared a state of emergency in Harare, and are working closely with our global partners.

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

"It is appalling that in 2018, people are still dying of such a preventable disease", said Jessica Pwiti, Amnesty International Zimbabwe's Executive Director.

She urged the Mnangagwa administration to "learn from its predecessor's mistakes" and act urgently before more lives are lost.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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