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Government intensifies cholera fight

Government intensifies cholera fight

Story by Tarirai Madhuyu

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care continues to partner with more development partners in intensifying the fight against cholera, extending the vaccination program beyond hotspots.

Government and development partners such as the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, supported by the Finish Red Cross and funded by the European Union (EU) have embarked on a massive Oral Rehydration Points Project (ORPs) as part of efforts to upscale the fight against the epidemic.

This Friday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and development partners visited ORPs being established in Harare to appreciate their relevance in eradicating cholera.

“We adopted this project so that we can intensify the fight against cholera. This has proved to be working and will definitely lead us somewhere positive,” said Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Project Coordinator, Mr Addmore Nyawasha.

“This support from the Finish Red Cross will support the government of Zimbabwe in its stance in fighting the pandemic. The program will expand to other parts of the country,” added Finish Red Cross Society Representative in Zimbabwe, Mrs Michaela Sodergard.

Government interventions are bearing fruit, with the country now recording a decrease in cholera deaths and new cases, while the city of Harare is appreciative of central government support in fighting the epidemic.

Incident Manager for Cholera Response in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Isaac Phiri said, “As of 1 February 24, the country has so far recorded a total of 22 105 cholera cases. The country is also realising a decrease in cholera cases although there is an emergency of new hotspots. The country has gone an extra mile in the fight against cholera by the establishment of ORPs in Hopley, Glenview and Southlea Park suburbs in the capital.”

“This initiative has gone a long way in reducing the spread. It has also reduced congestion from our hospital and communities are greatly supporting it,” said the Acting Director of the Harare City Health Department, Dr John Manyara.

The government has extended the fight against cholera beyond the hardest-hit hotspots of Chitungwiza, Budiriro and Hatfield to include areas such as Hopley and Southlea Park.

Globally, oral rehydration therapy has prevented 54 million deaths due to diarrhoea since 2007.