Cholera

11 September 2008

Cholera claims 11 in Zim

A cholera outbreak in a Harare suburb has killed at least 11 people, Zimbabwe's health minister said Thursday.

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A cholera outbreak in a Harare suburb has killed at least 11 people, Zimbabwe's health minister said Thursday.

"We had nine deaths in Chitungwiza," minister David Parirenyatwa told the state-owned Herald, bringing to 11 the number of dead in the densely populated suburb since last week.

"My biggest worry is that we must get safe water and sanitation. If we don't get that, then we will have disease outbreaks like cholera."

Cholera, a water-borne disease which thrives in unhygienic conditions is common in Zimbabwe during the rainy season from November to March, but rare during the current dry season.

The outbreak was blamed on a lack of clean water in Chitungwiza as some parts of the neighbourhood have not had access to clean water in days.

The local authority has also failed to upgrade the sewer system to match the growing population of the suburb, which was built for 30 000 people but now has a population estimated at nearly one million.

The national water authority said last week that it could not import enough water treatment chemicals because the country's economic crisis meant it did not have enough foreign currency.

Once hailed as Africa's breadbasket, Zimbabwe's economy has virtually collapsed over the past decade with inflation out of control and chronic shortages of foreign currency and food. – (Sapa-AFP)

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Cholera Centre

September 2008

 

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