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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Cholera fight gains ground

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

Over one million people from across the country have received the oral cholera vaccine in the past two weeks as government intensifies efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

The intensified vaccination drive is a response to the ongoing cholera outbreak, with 153 new suspected cases reported across the country, bringing the total number of suspected cases to 23,905 since the first case was detected in Chegutu a year ago.

During the weekly cholera update, Deputy Incidence Manager at the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Steven Karimu highlighted Harare as the main cholera hotspot.

“Today is the 12th February. It marks exactly a year since the inception of the outbreak you might remember that’s the first case of cholera was on the 12th of February 2023 in Chegutu, so it has taken us a full year. Ideally an outbreak should be able to be controlled within two weeks so 12 months on we still have cholera. In terms of the geographical distribution of the disease burden, majority of cases have been in Harare. It has contributed 8 042 cases Manicaland and Masvingo provinces are second. Most hit Manicaland has 5 981, Masvingo 2 665. Bulawayo has got the least hit in terms of cumulative cases from February last year Bulawayo has only recorded 29 cases,” he said.

In response to the cholera update, government has implemented an oral cholera vaccination programme, aiming to inoculate over 2.3 million people.

Over one million individuals have so far received the vaccine.

The oral cholera vaccination campaign is focusing on cholera hotspots throughout the country.

The single-shot OCV provides six months of protection against the diarrhoeal illness.

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