Zimbabwe needs $35 million to tackle cholera outbreak

FILE A view of a cholera treatment centre visited by the United Nations

Zimbabwean authorities has launched an appeal for $57 million United States dollars to contain the cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 30 lives and launched a campaign to raise funds.

Deputy health minister John Mangwiro told a joint press conference that the number of recorded cases was declining from about 500 per day at peak to about 100 now.

The worst cholera outbreak to hit the country took place from August 2008 to June 2009 when 98,596 cases of cholera were reported, resulting in 4,369 deaths.

The main risk factors include contaminated water sources such as boreholes and wells, as a result of blocked and damaged sewer pipes. "We are still recording a few cases but the curve is now going down which shows that our interventions are working", Mangwiro said.

After visiting the epicenter of the cholera outbreak in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to help the Harare City Council with financial assistance and called on the corporate world to donate toward fighting the epidemic.

A crowdfunding initiative has been set up in order to raise the funds, which is being handled by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

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The government is also counting on private citizens to contribute.

"Out of the 29 million dollars, 25.4 million is for immediate use and the remainder will go towards medium and long-term issues".

Critics in the opposition say the government is quick to find money to import luxury vehicles using scarce foreign exchange but has had to appeal to individuals and companies to fight cholera.

Zimbabwe's urban areas have suffered recurrent cholera outbreaks in recent years.

The worst cholera outbreak to hit the country took place from August 2008 to June 2009 when 98,596 cases of cholera were reported, resulting in 4,369 deaths.



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