The latest on the Zim cholera outbreak

Public gatherings food vending in Hre banned

How will Zimbabwe's opposition navigate ban on public gatherings?

Poor waste disposal systems and broken sewers which may have contaminated water sources in Harare have been blamed for the disease outbreak, the health minister said.

He said the ban affects both day and night vending and in this regard, police will intensify patrols and surveillance in the Harare CBD and will be out in full force to ensure compliance with the government directive without fear of favour.

Glenview, a high density suburb of Harare with an active trading area and a highly mobile population, is at the epicentre of the outbreak.

The outbreak began in Chitungwiza in Mashonaland East Province in August 2008, then, spread throughout the country so that by December 2008, cases were being reported in all 10 provinces.

World Health Organization is providing cholera kits which contain oral rehydration solution, intravenous fluids and antibiotics to cholera treatment centres. They are given tips on how to prevent cholera and typhoid infections. Fambirai said in a statement, "The conditions that necessitate the spread of cholera and typhoid in Zimbabwe have not changed since the 2008 outbreak".

Cholera is a bacterial disease caused by fecal bacteria Vibrio cholerae. The disease is typically characterized by acute diarrheal illness which may lead to severe dehydration and may even be fatal.

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.

Cholera outbreaks have occurred regularly in Zimbabwe's cities where supplies of potable water and sanitation facilities are scarce. Forty-seven African countries adopted the Regional Framework for the Implementation of the Global Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control at the 68th session of WHO's Regional Committee for Africa.

The President of Zimbabwe in a tweet said, "My thoughts & prayers are with those suffering from the cholera outbreak, and the loved ones of those we have lost". A national disaster has been declared and some schools in Harare have been closed.

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

Latest News