Zimbabwe's government criticized over cholera outbreak

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The World Health Organization and the Red Cross has intensified their emergency responses to Zimbabwe's deadliest cholera outbreak in a decade.

Almost 4,000 people have been infected with cholera, which has been declared a health emergency in Harare.

"We also thought that it is not unreasonable given the fact that institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe, which are further away from the epicentre of the cholera menace, have had to shelve their graduation ceremony", he said.

A nurse takes care of a cholera patient during a visit of Zimbabwe Minister of Health, at the cholera treatment centre of the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, in Harare, on September 11, 2018. "The number of deaths is now 25", Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told journalists on Thursday, AFP news agency reports.

THE death of some 20 people in the latest cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has been blamed on the government's failure to invest in infrastructure and health systems.

Amnesty International said the country's most recent outbreak of cholera was a effect of its "failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its healthcare system". Whilst substantial gains have been achieved in the WASH and Health sectors, the socio-economic situation has resulted in declining government investments in urban water supply and sanitation, which is leading communities to compromise on safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices thereby increasing the risk of WASH related diseases.

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.

"The Church will also need to act as a catalyst for the broader healing of the nation", he said, "When the first outbreak came out in 2008, it was a reflection not only on how the failing systems was panning out in urban areas, but also on the health of our politics".

Cholera is expanding in Harare, the country's capital with a population of more than 2 million people. Cases that are linked to the epicenter in Harare have been confirmed in 5 additional provinces, a WHO African Region report on Friday said. "Every death from cholera is preventable", Matshidiso Moeti, WHO director for Africa, said.

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