Zimbabwe declares state of emergency in Harare due to cholera outbreak

Harare, Nov 16 (EFE).- The City Council of Harare, Zimbabwe, declared a state of emergency over a cholera outbreak that erupted in September, with at least thirteen confirmed deaths. Verified Municipal Health Service’s Director, Dr. Prosper Chonzi to EFE.

Chonzi stated that “water scarcity is the main cause of the cholera outbreak in the city.” There are an estimated 1,000 suspected cases, with “122 confirmed cases in the capital”, which is home to approximately two million people.

In response to the cholera outbreak, the government has banned vendors from operating in the central business districts of major cities.

The spokesperson for Harare City, Stanley Gama, informed EFE that several contributing factors led to the spread of cholera, including the consumption of untreated water.

Additionally, he highlighted attending public gatherings, physical contact, exposure to broken sewage systems, and consumption of food prepared by unlicensed vendors.

In 2008, Zimbabwe experienced a cholera outbreak that claimed the lives of 4,000 people in Harare and 100,000 countrywide.

“We advise residents to promptly seek treatment to prevent fatalities. Treatment is free at all council-run clinics,” stated Gama.

Cholera is a severe form of diarrhea caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with the “vibrio cholerae” microorganism.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “cholera remains a worldwide public health threat and a sign of inequality and insufficient development.” EFE cz-pa/dgp/mcd

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