Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Mnangagwa calls for improved sanitation amid cholera outbreak

Mnangagwa calls for improved sanitation amid cholera outbreak

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to inform members of the public that in light of the declaration of the state of emergency, the police in Harare will not allow any public gatherings", Charamba said in a statement.

Zimbabwean law broadly defines a public gathering as "a public meeting or a public demonstration". "The number of deaths has risen to 21", health minister Obadiah Moyo told reporters on Tuesday.

Authorities report that the outbreak began on 1 September in Harare and as of that date to 11 September, 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 has closed the schools temporarily and also banned the sale of meat and fish in the affected regions to combat the outbreak.

Informal housing areas without running water have mushroomed, and basic infrastructure has collapsed due to years of neglect.

Tests on water samples from some wells and boreholes showed the water was contaminated with cholera and typhoid-causing bacteria.

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"It is essential that vending stops. and police are coming in to help with that", said Moyo.

Cholera, a water borne disease, can be prevented by taking precautions such as washing hands thoroughly with clean water, only drinking water from safe sources and storing clean water in covered containers.

The ban could affect a rally by the main opposition on Saturday where the party planned a mock inauguration for its leader Nelson Chamisa whom supporters say was robbed of victory in elections on July 30. Fambirai said in a statement, "The conditions that necessitate the spread of cholera and typhoid in Zimbabwe have not changed since the 2008 outbreak".

Zimbabwe has experienced frequent outbreaks of cholera, with the largest outbreak occurring from August 2008 to May 2009 and claiming more than 4000 lives.

"It is appalling that in 2018, people are still dying of such a preventable disease", said Jessica Pwiti, Amnesty International Zimbabwe's Executive Director.

Poor water treatment systems and poor sanitation and hygiene practices are conducive to spread of cholera among these populations.

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