African Country Declares State Of Emergency Over Cholera Outbreak

Afimag.com –

Zimbabwe government has declared a state of emergency in Harare, the state capital over the outbreak of cholera.

Harare which accommodates over 1.5 million people has been affected by a disease ravaging all the regions of the southern African nation.

According to Harare Mayor Ian Makone, the country declared a state of emergency as a result of ugly situation.

He claimed the disease is spreading across the city, adding that the country has witnessed about 7,000 suspected cases of cholera.

It was learnt that nearly 150 deaths have occurred. 51 have been confirmed by laboratory tests, since the outbreak was reported in February.

At least 12 people have died in Harare. Cholera outbreaks occur regularly in Zimbabwean cities where supplies of drinking water and sanitation facilities are erratic. Infrastructure has also collapsed due to years of neglect.

The disease is contracted from a bacterium that is generally transmitted through contaminated food or water.

“People have dug wells close to pit latrines, especially in mushrooming settlements and other suburbs which do not have running water. This means their drinking water is contaminated,” Makone said.

Some officials have drawn comparisons with 2008, when cholera claimed at least 4,000 lives in Zimbabwe. No fewer than 100,000 people fell ill.

That outbreak happened at the height of the country’s economic crisis when most of the public hospitals were closed. This was due to a shortage of medicines and the flight of health workers abroad.

Makone said local authorities, the health ministry and aid groups have joined forces to double the water supply in affected areas. They also carry out awareness campaigns.

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