Zimbabwe Battles Cholera Crisis with Over 150 Deaths and 8,000 Suspected Cases

Zimbabwe is grappling with a severe cholera crisis that has claimed the lives of over 150 people and resurged in various areas, particularly Harare, over the past month. Health authorities have reported more than 8,000 suspected cases since February, with 1,241 cases confirmed through laboratory testing, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Since late October, Zimbabwe, with a population of 15 million, has been witnessing a surge of over 500 cholera cases per week, marking the highest rate since February, as highlighted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In response to the escalating crisis, the organization issued an emergency appeal this month. Cholera is a water and foodborne infection that, without prompt treatment, can lead to death within hours. Rehydration is a key intervention if cases are detected in time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that Africa is experiencing a significant rise in cholera cases as part of a global surge. Between 2014 and 2021, the continent accounted for 21 percent of global cholera cases and 80 percent of associated deaths.

The situation in Zimbabwe is alarming, with over 10 million people, including more than five million children, at risk of cholera as the disease spreads from urban centers to rural areas. The Red Cross Federation identified poor hygiene practices, lack of knowledge, and certain religious beliefs rejecting medical assistance as the primary factors contributing to the crisis. The organization emphasized the urgent need for intervention to curb the spread of the disease and save lives.



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