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Zimbabwe cholera death toll rises to 25

16 September 2018

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the learning institution's acting vice chancellor, Professor Paul Mapfumo, made the announcement a day before the graduation ceremony after the disease had killed at least 25 people.

The government, which this week declared an emergency, has said it is committed to ending the outbreak.

Twenty-six people have died in the cholera outbreak, which is the worst Zimbabwe has seen in a decade, according to Reuters Both the World Health Organization and the International Red Cross in Zimbabwe said they were stepping up emergency response efforts September 13.

Considering the non-availability of safe water in most urban centers, it is feared that a localized cholera outbreak like the one being experienced in Harare can degenerate into an outbreak at national scale.

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Patients infected with cholera receive treatment in a polyclinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 14, 2018. Yesterday (Thursday), the country's Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo, told journalists that there were 3,766 cases of cholera in the outbreak; whuch had claimed 25 lives.

"When cholera strikes a major metropolis such as Harare, we need to work fast to stop the spread of the disease before it gets out of control", said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Newly installed President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has pledged to revive Zimbabwe's ailing economy and improve public services, said officials were working to "contain and overcome" the most recent outbreak.

Typhoid is also ravaging the southern city of Gweru, with 10 people already having succumbed to the disease.

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The United Nations Human Development Index - which measures health, education and economic performance - ranks Zimbabwe 154 out of 188 countries.

It is working with global partners to rapidly expand recommended cholera response actions, including increasing access to clean and safe water in the most affected communities and decommissioning contaminated water supplies.

"No lessons were learned from the 2008 epidemic and the outbreak and deaths we're seeing now is symptomatic of a still broken-down sanitation infrastructure and poor sewer management, worsened by a shortage of drugs and medical supplies", she added.

"Cholera is a symbol of inequity". To date 1,901 suspected cases, 58 confirmed cases and 24 deaths have been reported in Harare and an additional 6 districts.

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Zimbabwe cholera death toll rises to 25