Zimbabwe on high cholera outbreak alert: Two cases confirmed so far

– The high human traffic across our borders, is feared could result in the importation of cholera cases into the country, officials said.

 John Cassim

HARARE – The Zimbabwean government is on high cholera alert after recording two fresh cases in a farming town of Chegutu, 108km west of the capital Harare.

“On the 12th of February 2023, Zimbabwe confirmed a case of cholera in Chegutu town, Mashonaland West Province and the case has since recovered. 

On the 17th of February 2023 a second case was reported, again in Chegutu town and investigations are underway. 

“In view of the above, the Ministry would like to remind the public of the spread of diarrhoeal and other enteric diseases during the rainy season,” Dr Rudo Chikodzore, Director of Epidemiological Disease Control, in the Ministry of Health Child Care said in her statement.

The alert comes at a time when the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is battling with cholera outbreaks with Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa having been affected.

Over 43 000 cases and 1400 deaths have been reported in the region since January 2023. 

Malawi is the worst affected having recorded the largest number of instances of cholera as a result of the aftermath of tropical storm Ana and cyclone Gombe.

The climate changed induced incidents last year, caused severe floods and devastated the water and sanitation infrastructure of the nation.

This saw Malawi being placed among 31 countries globally hardest hit by cholera resulting the temporary closure of public schools for two weeks in January this year.

Zimbabwe which has of late been able to tame cholera outbreaks, is concerned of the high human traffic across the borders could trigger an outbreak in the country

“Due to the high human traffic across our borders, there is high risk of importation of cases into the country especially considering that Zimbabwe is a transit route for most SADC countries,” Dr Rudo Chikodzore warned.

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