Insiders Insight: Zimbabwe cholera outbreak turns to emergency
This week’s free preview section (scroll down to see it) is about the worrying cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.
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Cholera outbreak points to bigger problems in Zimbabwe
A cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, has turned rapidly into an emergency.
The outbreak appears to have started in early September. More than 30 people have died, out of more than three thousand infected, according to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization. At one point, there were 473 cases reported in one day, though that number has started to slow.
Cholera spreads rapidly in communities with poor sanitation and hygiene services and infrastructure. And it can require intensive treatment as officials work to re-hydrate patients. The escalating crisis in Zimbabwe points to gaps in all those systems and underscores how the country deteriorated under former President Robert Mugabe. In Harare, the crisis is being driven by sewage leaking into boreholes that provide drinking water.
International aid organisations are moving quickly to control the current outbreak by curbing public meetings and restricting access to water sources that are suspected to be contaminated.
But preventing another flare up or future outbreaks will require significant investments in infrastructural and service improvements – an early challenge to the recently elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The fact a government official appears to have sent a Tweet requesting contributions to help fund the response only underscores concerns that this administration is woefully underprepared both to meet the current emergency but also future crises.
- ‘Medieval’ cholera outbreak exposes huge challenges in Zimbabwe (The Guardian)
- The World Health Organization situation reports
- Zimbabwe cholera outbreak: Anger at crowdfunding scheme (BBC)
Compiled by @_andrew_green
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