Cuban Medical Brigade in Zimbabwe Is Ready to Stop Cholera Outbreak

Cuban Medical Brigade in Zimbabwe Is Ready to Stop Cholera Outbreak

Cuban Medical Brigade in Zimbabwe Is Ready to Stop Cholera Outbreak

Zimbabwe is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help fund efforts to contain the country's ongoing cholera outbreak, according to STAT's Morning Rounds e-newsletter.

While Zimbabwe had reported cholera cases every year over the past three years, the scale was comparatively lower (20 cases in 2015, 2 cases in 2016, and 6 cases in 2017).

This was a key factor in persuading President Robert Mugabe to agree a power-sharing government with the opposition, as the government did not have the money to deal with the outbreak. 'WHO is working closely with the national authorities and partners to urgently respond to this outbreak'.

The worst cholera outbreak in the country in 2008 killed 4,000 people. The outbreak was notified on 6 September 2018. An estimated 12 per cent pf the suspected and confirmed cases are children under five years of age.

In its latest epidemiological and emergency response update issued on September 13, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the deaths were concentrated in Harare suburbs of Budiriro and Glen View. There have been reports of additional suspected cases in Buhera, Chitungwiza, Shamva, Gokwe North, Makoni and Masvingo districts. Authorities report that the outbreak began on September 1 in Harare and as of that date to September 11, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reports that there have been almost 2000 suspected cholera cases, including 58 confirmed cases and 24 deaths.

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Amnesty International said the country's most recent outbreak of cholera was a outcome of its "failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its healthcare system". Preliminary estimates suggests that the population at risk in the epicentre is 200,000 people.

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.

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

The Primary and Secondary Education ministry has also cancelled World Literacy Day commemorations, which were scheduled for today at St Albert's Mission in Centenary, Mashonaland Central province, today due to the cholera outbreak. The situation is critical because the country is endemic to cholera.

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