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Cholera scourge — Mash Central puts ban to religious pilgrimages



MASHONALAND Central provincial medical director Dr Clemence Tshuma has invoked public health law to bar people from travelling into the province for Easter holiday gatherings in light of an ongoing cholera crisis.


There are more than 2 900 suspected cases of cholera in the province. The regulations are coming at a time when the disease has claimed 94 in the province (as at 5 March 2024). During Easter, many Christians gather in large numbers to commemorate the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Mashonaland Central province is currently experiencing a cholera outbreak with cases reported in all the eight districts in the province. In view of the rise in cholera cases and deaths reported and in consultation with other stakeholders, the following measures have been put in place to curb further spread of the disease, church camps during the Easter holidays are temporarily suspended. No Easter conferences, no all-night prayer church services to be held in the province,” directed Tshuma.

Infection from cholera hotspots is wreaking havoc across the country.

Tshuma says church gatherings convened in the province should only be attended by locals for a limited time. “All church gatherings to constitute only local people, from within the same district and church services are limited to three hours duration,” he added.

 In line with Tuesday’s cabinet resolutions that ordered the ministry of Health and Child Care to intensify monitoring of gatherings to contain cholera, Tshuma has added that the church gatherings be monitored by health workers and should be registered with the Zimbabwe Republic Police for compliance.

“Ordinary church services are to be monitored by a hygiene promoter identified within the church who will make sure there is access to safe water, sufficient toilets and disinfectants, hand-washing facilities with soap and advocate for good hygiene practice during the gathering.

All proposed gatherings of any kind in the province should be communicated to the ministry of Health district offices and to the ZRP,” said Tshuma.

Cabinet also noted that the province was among the five that needed more hands in health service delivery to aid the healthcare workers in containing the disease.

“The ministry of Health and Child Care continues to conduct integrated training in case management, surveillance, infection prevention and control, and social mobilisation for Midlands, Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West provinces in order to augment staff already trained,” said Information minister Jenfan Muswere.

 Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa will host a victory rally in Marange on Friday.

He will also attend an Easter service at Zion Christian Church in Masvingo.

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