Containment Efforts Scaled Up as Cholera Sweeps Zimbabwe
The international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International announced a scaling up of its ongoing efforts to address the onset of cholera across southern Zimbabwe. State-owned media announced new cholera outbreaks in the city of Beitbridge on November 18, which to date has claimed more than 300 lives, with more than a 6,000 infections confirmed by medical organizations working in the region.
The most recent outbreak is the fifth since August of this year, bringing the total figure of infections in Zimbabwe to almost 8,400, resulting in at least 328 deaths. This recent proliferation of cholera outbreaks is attributed to the collapse of water and sanitation infrastructure in urban areas, resulting in sewage contaminating the population’s water supply. This comes at a time when public heath services have broken down, resulting in long lines of people infected with cholera awaiting medical assistance.
Since the 1st of November, Action Against Hunger has responded to these outbreaks in collaboration with colleague NGOs on the ground and our funding partner ECHO. These ongoing programs provide local populations with access to safe water, ensure emergency sanitation measures, and promote health and hygiene education to stop the spread of this deadly water-borne disease. Action Against Hunger has intervened in the highly populated suburbs of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, along with new programs launched this week in Beitbridge, ensuring clean water and proper sanitation for the more than 30,000 people affected in the region.
In cooperation with our humanitarian partners on the ground, Action Against Hunger’s teams continue to monitor vulnerable areas in order to respond in a timely and coordinated manner. The arrival of the rainy season is another threat to containing these cholera outbreaks.