Harare Reports Cholera Outbreak; Health Officials Urge Caution

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

Harare faces a cholera outbreak with five cases confirmed by health officials. 

Cholera, a waterborne disease leading to severe diarrhea and vomiting, transmits primarily through contaminated food or water. Over time, it has become endemic in Zimbabwe. According to a statement from the Harare City Council, three of the confirmed cases can be traced back to a recent outbreak in Buhera, while the remaining two originate from local sources.

The council highlighted affected regions: Hopely Zone 5, Stoneridge, Southlands, Granary, and Adbernie Mbare, urging residents in these areas, and Harare at large, to adhere to preventative measures against cholera.

Deputy mayor Kudzai Kadzombe told NewsDay about the city’s containment efforts, emphasizing the council’s dedication to enhancing water production. The Beatrice Infectious Hospital stands prepared for any arising cases, with staff on alert.

Itai Rusike, the executive director of the Community Working Group on Health, expressed concerns over repeated cholera outbreaks. He emphasized the importance of reinforcing primary health care principles and public health regulations. “The community plays a pivotal role in public health, but an empowering environment is essential for effective participation,” Rusike noted.

Enock Dongo, president of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association, stressed the preventability of cholera. He called for proper hygiene practices, such as consistent handwashing and consuming uncontaminated water.

To further curtail the disease’s spread, the Health and Child Care ministry introduced several preventive measures in Zaka, Masvingo, including the prohibition of church camp gatherings, open markets, and communal beer events.

It’s worth noting the historical severity of cholera in Zimbabwe. The 2008 outbreak, which originated in Harare before crossing into nearby countries, was particularly devastating, resulting in over 4,000 fatalities and impacting more than 100,000 individuals.


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