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Zimbabwe Sets Aside $24m To Combat Cholera

Zimbabwe Sets Aside $24m To Combat Cholera 

As of March 28, Zimbabwe had recorded 231 suspected cholera cases and two deaths.

News Agency of Nigeria

The Zimbabwean government has approved a 24-million U.S. dollar budget to fight cholera, as 13 countries in Africa grapple with the epidemic that has killed hundreds of people since the beginning of 2023.

Many Zimbabweans still remember the cholera outbreak which hit the country between 2008 and 2009 and left more than 4,000 people dead from more than 98,500 reported cases.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) however said the current outbreak was the worst to affect the region in recent years, describing it as an emergency for children.

As of March 28, Zimbabwe had recorded 231 suspected cholera cases and two deaths.

Zimbabwean cabinet ministers on Tuesday considered a report on the national cholera response presented by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga.

They assured the nation that the situation was under control.

Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, told a briefing after the cabinet meeting that the cholera outbreaks in Africa have been occurring in the context of cyclones, floods, conflicts, poor sanitation, and unreliable water supplies.

She said cross-border mobility also played a part in the spread of cholera and other diseases, adding that “so far, 13 African countries have reported cholera outbreaks.

In spite the cases reported in Zimbabwe, the fatality rate is still low. Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cholera cases stood at 231, with 209 recoveries and two deaths.

Mutsvangwa said out of the country’s 10 provinces, only Matabeleland North and Midlands have so far not reported any cholera cases.

She assured the nation that the situation was under control as active screening at ports of entry and exit and surveillance activities are taking place.

According to the minister, the cabinet approved a total budget of 24,168,353 U.S. dollars for the cholera epidemic preparedness and response plan.

She said several partners including the World Health Organisation have pledged to support part of the budget.

Community and political leaders are also expected to lend maximum support to the anti-cholera program through awareness activities, she added.

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