from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE death toll in Zimbabwe’s latest cholera outbreak has risen to 230.
There have been a total of 10 263 suspected and 1 409 confirmed cases of the water borne disease.
The number of recorded weekly new cases remains above 1 000 and the mortality rate above expected standard, with a record 18 deaths recorded last week.
More than 10 million people are at risk.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government declared a state of emergency in the capital, Harare.
Zimbabwe’s current cholera epidemic broke out in February 2023. It has since affected all ten provinces of the Southern African country.
The current epicentres are in Harare including Manicaland and Masvingo provinces respectively.
The European Union (EU) has announced new funding of €1 million to Zimbabwe, to support the response to the ongoing epidemic.
The emergency funding will support partners carrying out water, health and sanitation activities.
The EU also allocated a total of €8,4 million earlier this year in humanitarian assistance. This includes €4 million to reduce food insecurity among vulnerable urban populations.
Zimbabwe suffered its worst cholera outbreak in 2008-2010 when 4 293 people died. It is one of the worst outbreaks of the disease in Africa.
This week, Zimbabwe is meanwhile hosting the 22nd International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA).
Despite representing less than 8 percent of the global population, East and Southern Africa host more than 20 million people living with HIV.
Fifteen of the top 28 countries in the world in terms of HIV infection are found within the region – with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe having the highest prevalence rates, ranging from 11 percent to over 26 percent among adults.
“We should never relax. AIDS is not over,” said President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.
He said the pandemic remains one of the salient threats to sustainable socio-economic development.
“It is commendable that we have made progress and positive outcomes through our robust interventions, which are infusing hope that we can indeed eliminate AIDS,” Mnangagwa said.
– CAJ News