Following a surge in cholera cases this week, Zimbabwe’s government has begun imposing restrictions on public gatherings and food sales, in addition to closely monitoring funerals in all impacted districts.
This week, the number of new cases of cholera in the country in southern Africa tripled from 437 to 1,259, marking the most significant increase since the water-borne disease’s most recent epidemic began in February. In Zimbabwe, where cholera claimed the lives of almost 4,000 people in 2008, this has caused alarm.
According to the health ministry, there have been 8,787 instances of cholera in the nation to date, with 155 fatalities associated with it. The government declared a state of emergency last week in Harare, the country’s capital, due to many new illnesses.
Seven of the 13 cholera deaths in the capital were said to have occurred in the low-income Kuwadzana district of Harare. On Friday, locals protested over inconsistent access to clean water, uncollected trash, and raw sewage running through the streets.
To address their water demands, several residents have dug shallow wells.
Additionally, the borehole water has been tainted. As she got treatment at the Kuwadzana polyclinic, where the authorities had erected three emergency cholera treatment tents, a noticeably thin Bertha Rwizi stated, “They are encouraging us to treat the water before drinking and to come to the hospital if we feel sick.”
Health worker Mercy Chiweshe said clean water is essential for treating cholera cases and averting subsequent infections.
“We are appealing for boreholes because the shortage of water is affecting us and for residents to maintain good hygiene,” she stated.
Residents in Harare have been receiving water purification pills from the city government as part of their attempts to combat the diarrheal illness.