Publicado: Sáb, Setiembre 15, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Zimbabwe police ban public gatherings in capital to contain cholera outbreak - International

Zimbabwe police ban public gatherings in capital to contain cholera outbreak - International

The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to 25, the government said Thursday as the World Health Organisation warned that the water-borne disease is spreading rapidly in the capital Harare.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing to members of the public to take heed of this warning and cooperate as this will assist in alleviating the continuous spread of cholera".

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.

With the help of global agencies, the outbreak was controlled, and by July 2009, after no cases had been reported for several weeks, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare declared the outbreak over.

Cholera outbreaks have occurred regularly in the city as authorities struggle to provide potable water and sanitation facilities.

"When cholera strikes a major metropolis such as Harare, we need to work fast to stop the spread of the disease before it gets out of control", Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement.

Mock inauguration highlighting claims by opposition that the July 30 election was rigged
Mock inauguration highlighting claims by opposition that the July 30 election was rigged

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. Since then, water and sanitation infrastructure has been collapsing. According to Moyo broken sewers and poor disposal of the wastes have lead to contamination of the drinking water sources in Harare.

"It's more than just an emergency it is a national disaster", he said. "It is appalling that in 2018, people are still dying of such a preventable disease".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe, has pledged to revive the economy and improve public services.

WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Care to fight the outbreak by strengthening the coordination of the response and mobilizing national and global health experts to form a cholera surge team.

Cholera is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and can kill within hours if untreated.

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