Cholera

19 August 2009

Zim: 2nd cholera outbreak looms

Zimbabwe's crumbling infrastructure makes another cholera outbreak "almost inevitable", the UN Children's Fund warned Wednesday.

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Zimbabwe's crumbling infrastructure makes another cholera outbreak "almost inevitable", the UN Children's Fund warned Wednesday.

Zimbabwe's health ministry last month declared an end to a deadly cholera epidemic that swept the country over the past year, killing more than 4,200 people and infecting nearly 100,000 people.

But Peter Salama, UNICEF country representative for Zimbabwe, said the country faced another health disaster unless urgent action was taken.

"Another cholera outbreak in the country is almost inevitable. We must work together with the government to prevent another outbreak which we see coming," he said.

"There is a deterioration of infrastructure in the country and Zimbabwe has not made progress in improving this infrastructure. This will expose people to another cholera outbreak again."

The outbreak erupted last August as post-election violence swept Zimbabwe, with worsening public infrastructure and hospital closures adding to chronically overburdened sewer systems and water shortages.

Zimbabwe's power-sharing government, formed in February, is trying to raise more than eight billion dollars over three years to revive public services, including repairs to sewage lines that leak through populous neighbourhoods.

Diarrhoeal disease thrives in places without proper sanitary facilities and while deadly, the disease is easily preventable with clean water and proper sanitation. - (Sapa-AFP, August 2009)

Read more:
Cholera timeline

 

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