Zimbabwe creates crowdfunding campaign to combat Cholera outbreak

FILE Mthuli Ncube at the World Economic Forum Meeting on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in May 2013

FILE Mthuli Ncube at the World Economic Forum Meeting on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in May 2013

World Health Organization is providing cholera kits which contain oral rehydration solution, intravenous fluids and antibiotics to cholera treatment centres.

THE cholera death toll has surged to 25 with four people said to have succumbed to the highly infectious disease on Thursday alone. Authorities report that the outbreak began on September 1 in Harare and as of that date to September 11, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reports that there have been almost 2000 suspected cholera cases, including 58 confirmed cases and 24 deaths.

The government, which this week declared an emergency, has said it is committed to ending the outbreak.

"Relevant medicines should be purchased as a matter of urgency as soon as resistance patterns have been ascertained", it said.

The move comes in the wake of a police ban on all public gatherings as a public interest measure to avert the spread of the disease.

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says he was cheated of victory by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 election, the first since Robert Mugabe was removed in a coup last November.

The cholera outbreak, first detected in the township of Glen View outside Harare on September 5, prompted the health ministry to declare an emergency in the city.

The University of Zimbabwe, the country's largest, said it had postponed indefinitely this year's graduation ceremony which was due on Friday following the cholera outbreak.

The WHO report said health personnel faced shortages of medicine and intravenous fluid, sewer blockages, lack of protective clothing and erratic water supplies.

Considering the non-availability of safe water in most urban centers, it is feared that a localized cholera outbreak like the one being experienced in Harare can degenerate into an outbreak at national scale.

It is working with worldwide partners to rapidly expand recommended cholera response actions, including increasing access to clean and safe water in the most affected communities and decommissioning contaminated water supplies.

The International Red Cross in Zimbabwe on the other hand also added that it has deployed more than 1,000 volunteers to contain the outbreak.

A total of 4,000 people died and at least 100,000 people fell ill.