Zimbabwe confirms five cholera cases since outbreak in February

HARARE – Zimbabwe has recorded five cholera cases since the dreaded disease was dictated in the country early last month, government has said.

At a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information, Communication and Technology Minister Jenfan Muswere said no deaths have been recorded since 12 February when the first case was recorded.

“Since 12 February 2023, sixty suspected cases of cholera have been reported in Zimbabwe from Chegutu (58), Mudzi (1), and Mutare (1).

“Of these, five cases have been confirmed by culture test, and as of 6th March 2023, there has been no reported death from cholera and no patient has been admitted for the disease,” he said.

Muswere said government was accelerating its surveillance and response mechanisms countrywide in the wake of the high risk posed by diarrheal diseases such as cholera and typhoid which are common in the rainy season.

“Government is also instituting processes for the refurbishing and upgrading of sewer and reticulation systems and provision of clean water,” he said, adding that several actions in response to the cholera outbreak have been instituted.

These include activation of the National, Provincial and District Rapid Response Teams as well as the Civil Protection Committee (CPC) and the National Reference Laboratory which is carrying out drug sensitivity tests for any suspected cases of cholera while Acute Water Diarrheal (AWD) Kits are pre-positioned at cholera hotspots.

“All districts are on high alert for any outbreaks.

“Community health workers were sensitised and community awareness is ongoing in all districts.

“The cholera Outbreak Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for 2023-2024, the relevant budget, as well as the country’s Cholera and Typhoid Guidelines have been reviewed and updated,” he said.

Cholera outbreaks are being reported in a number of SADC countries, including Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, with Malawi being the most affected.

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