Zimbabwe's Health Ministry battles cholera outbreak in Zaka District


Zimbabwe's Health Ministry has assured the public that it is effectively addressing the cholera outbreak in Zaka District, which has claimed 12 lives and infected 152 people since August 26, 2023. 

Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

The ministry said that the number of new cases is declining, indicating that the implemented strategies are yielding positive results.

"The outbreak has been ongoing for approximately a month, and we are deeply concerned and feel obligated to warn the public about the necessary precautions," said Health Minister Mombeshora in a media briefing.

He added that the ministry has observed 22 new cases recently, compared to around 40 new cases per day in the previous weeks. 

He attributed the improvement to the measures that the ministry has put in place, such as mobilizing health personnel, educating communities, discouraging uncontrolled gatherings, and providing water purification methods.

The minister said that Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera district is currently experiencing the highest number of new cases, and that the ministry has identified specific reasons for the elevated incidence of the disease in that area.

"We have detected one or two cases in the neighboring Hwedza district, but they can be traced back to Buhera due to two patients attending the same funeral there," he explained.

He also said that the ministry has noticed the presence of unregistered vendors, particularly in the streets of Murambinda, and that it is in discussions with the Ministry of Local Government to ensure their removal.

The minister emphasized that cholera is a preventable diarrheal disease, and urged anyone experiencing diarrhea to report to health centers for further management. 

He also advised people to seek medical attention rather than relying solely on spiritual healing practices, and said that the ministry is working closely with church leaders to encourage their followers to visit hospitals.

The minister also highlighted the importance of avoiding the use of river water, especially in ward seven where a higher incidence of the disease has been observed. 

He urged villagers to take necessary precautions and encouraged the public to use water purification methods.

As part of the efforts to curb the spread of cholera, the ministry has recommended the suspension of all uncontrolled gatherings. 

Additionally, gatherings such as funerals are advised to limit attendance to a maximum of 50 people, while cooking at funerals is prohibited. 

Open markets and communal beer halls have also been temporarily prohibited to prevent further transmission of the disease.

The ministry reassures the nation that it  remains committed to tackling the cholera outbreak in Zaka District and continues to work tirelessly alongside various stakeholders to ensure the well-being and safety of the affected communities.

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