CABINET has identified poor sanitation and insufficient potable water as the main drivers of the ongoing cholera outbreak which has seen the country recording more than 5 000 cases.
Zimbabwe is battling to contain a serious cholera outbreak, with the government implementing stringent measures in a bid to combat the spread of the disease.
The government has put in place interventions that include supervision of burials in all cholera-affected areas, in a bid to reduce transmission.
The government has also ordered the supervision of all gatherings in cholera-affected areas in order to ensure adequate clean water and sanitation provision.
According to an update by Health and Childcare minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora at this week’s post-cabinet briefing, Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cholera cases were 5 338 with 5 090 recoveries.
Manicaland province and Harare province contributed the highest number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe, having reported 2 524 and 1 654 cumulative cholera cases, respectively, as at 21 October 2023.
“Cabinet advises that poor sanitation and low safe water coverage has driven the cholera outbreak, especially in the Harare Metropolitan province. Twelve boreholes were drilled in Buhera through a borehole drilling project under the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” said Mombeshora.
“Cabinet reports that health education on cholera prevention and control measures, including hygiene promotion, is ongoing in provinces. Health educators in affected communities have been trained to also facilitate surveillance and risk communication. Door-to-door cholera campaigns are being made in the affected provinces.
“Health educators in affected communities have been trained to also facilitate surveillance and risk communication. Door-to-door cholera campaigns are being made in the affected provinces.”
Harare, the main hotspot, has been largely affected by acute water shortages. For instance, a survey by The NewsHawks has shown that several high-density residential areas such as Chitungwiza, Kuwadzana and Crowborough have been going for weeks without water.
Crowborough residents who spoke to The NewsHawks said the outbreak of cholera is likely to be worsened by the shortage of water. Our survey has shown that the residents pay a dollar for a 20 litre bucket of water.
“We got here in the morning, and there were very long queues. We wanted to fetch water, but unfortunately, only paid-up people were the ones being given the privilege to do so, hence we have been forced to fetch water from unprotected wells,” said a resident.
“But at times, this is the same water we use for domestic use and we think this is where diseases like cholera are coming from. There are insufficient boreholes, which will likely see the spread of the disease. We really wish the number of boreholes would be increased.”