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Cholera outbreak hits Harare; residents put on high alert

By Mary Taruvinga

HARARE City Health Director Prosper Chonzi has confirmed a Cholera outbreak in the capital, with 21 suspected cases recorded.

Chonzi put residents on high alert saying the outbreak had the potential to spread rapidly.

Cholera outbreaks have been noted regionally and Zimbabwe has so far recorded 588 cases.

“This serves to confirm that we have an outbreak of Cholera in the city of  Harare.

“We now have 21 suspected cases and seven confirmed cases and these are mainly coming from the western suburbs, Budiriro has four of the confirmed, Glenview 3 has two of the confirmed and one is from Mt Pleasant Heights.

“What this means is we should take this outbreak seriously because it has the potential to spread like veld fire so we need to be on high alert and everywhere even where there are no cases currently,” he said.

Chonzi added: “Cholera is a preventable disease so it is important to practice hygiene and sanitation”.

Meanwhile, vaccination is ongoing in areas with confirmed cases.

Addressing the media during a Tuesday’s post cabinet briefing, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said as at 29 April 2023, the cumulative suspected cholera cases were 588, with 550 recoveries and 4 deaths.

Matabeleland South and Manicaland Provinces continue to contribute the highest number of suspected cases to date,with195 cases (33.2%) and 161 cases (27.4%),respectively.

Regionally, eight out of 16 SADC countries have reported cholera outbreaks, with most suspected cholera cases reported from Malawi (58 171) and Mozambique (26 841).

“In light of the continued increase in cholera cases, a multi-sectoral approach in responding to the cholera outbreak is being enhanced with focus on addressing water and sanitation needs in affected areas,” she said.

There are fears of recurrence of an epidemic similar to that of 2008-2009 which claimed about 4 000 lives.

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