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Cholera claims 540 lives

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Cholera claims 540 lives


NINE out of the country’s 10 provinces have recorded cholera cases with Matabeleland South province named as the worst affected, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday.

Mutsvangwa said by Sunday, the cumulative total of cholera cases had reached 536.

But a Health and Child Care situational report released on Monday night showed that four more deaths had been recorded, bringing the number to 540.

“While efforts to contain the cholera outbreak have been intensified, the nation is being informed that as of April 23, 2023, Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cases had reached 536, with 503 recoveries and three deaths,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Nine out of the country’s 10 provinces have reported suspected cases with only Matabeleland North province still unaffected by the outbreak. The most recent six suspected cases were reported in Midlands province. The worst affected provinces are Matabeleland South, which recorded 186 cases and Manicaland with 152 cases,” Mutsvangwa said.

At least 160 756 suspected cases and 3 288 deaths have so far been recorded in 14 African countries since the beginning of the year.

“Cabinet wishes to assure the nation that the cholera risk assessment is ongoing in all provinces in order to determine the targeting of oral cholera vaccination. Active surveillance is ongoing at points of entry and exit, while water and sanitation provision is being intensified in communities at high risk,” she said.

The country’s first cholera case this year was reported in Chegutu in February.

To date, government has identified 17 cholera hotspot districts in the country, which are Buhera, Chegutu, Chikomba, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chitungwiza, Chiredzi, Harare, Gokwe North, Marondera, Mazowe, Shamva, Mutare, Murehwa, Mwenezi, Seke and Wedza.

Between 2008 and 2009, the country went through its worst cholera phase when some 100 000 cases and over 4 000 deaths were recorded.

In 2018/19, at least 10 000 cases and 69 deaths were recorded across 21 cholera hotspot districts in the country, with Harare among the worst affected. Newsday

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