Cholera cases continue to rise

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CHOLERA cases continue to rise with more than 5 000 cases and 120 suspected deaths recorded across Zimbabwe despite efforts by the government to curb the outbreak.

According to the Health and Child Care ministry’s latest situational report, 64 new suspected cases have been reported and 43 confirmed deaths. The cases were recorded in Chitungwiza (29), Buhera (18), Masvingo (8), Gutu (4), Mutare (3) and Bikita (2).

Forty-three districts have reported cases across the country.

“As of October 28, 2023, 104 cases are hospitalised at Chiredzi (1), Zaka (2), Gutu (5) Bikita (3) in Masvingo province, Buhera (35),Chipinge (14), Mutare Rural (9) Chimanimani (4) Makoni (2) in Manicaland province, Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital (3) in Harare province, Chitungwiza (18), UMP (1) in Mash East province, Chegutu (3) Mhondoro (3) in Mash West province and Bindura (1) in Mash Central province,” the report read.

The most affected districts are Buhera, Chipinge, Mutare Rural, Chimanimani, and Makoni in Manicaland province, while Chitungwiza and Uzumba-Marangwa-Pfungwe in Mashonaland East have also been ravaged by the disease.

Chegutu and Mhondoro in Mashonaland West province have also had some cholera cases.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike warned of a possible increase in cholera cases during the upcoming rainy season due to limited access to safe drinking water.

“With limited safe and potable water in local authorities the rainy season brings fears of an increase in cholera cases that may further worsen the cholera situation as the unsafe alternative sources of water, the shallow wells get contaminated due to the generally poor drainage system,” Rusike said.

Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said government would urgently roll out a nationwide borehole drilling programme to ensure the nation, particularly 35 000 villages, have access to a clean, safe drinking solar-powered water points.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It can be fatal if left untreated, but it is easily preventable by access to safe water and sanitation. NewsDay

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