Govt urged to appoint special taskforce on cholera, typhoid outbreaks


THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has urged government to urgently appoint a special taskforce made up of officials from various ministries to urgently contain the outbreak of cholera and typhoid which have killed over a dozen people in Harare, Gweru, Masvingo and Zvishavane, amid fears the diseases might spread to other parts of the country.

BY Tafadzwa Mutacha

ZADHR said it was deeply concerned with the continued loss of lives to cholera, typhoid and other diarrheal illnesses in Zimbabwe.

The organisation blamed the outbreak to reluctance by central and local government authorities to allocate time, human and financial resources towards finding a lasting solution to the persistent outbreak of diarrhoeal illnesses.

“Zimbabwe has over the years been a central figure on the world cholera map, together with other war torn or collapsed states,” ZADHR executive director Calvin Fambirai said.

“The state of service delivery ranging from water supply, refuse collection and sewer reticulation has continued to deteriorate thereby posing a grave danger to inhabitants of most urban and peri-urban communities.”

Fambirai said appointment of a national taskforce comprising the Health ministry, Local Government ministry, civil society, residents’ associations and other stakeholders will ensure the formulation of comprehensive actionable plans to deal with the resurgence of diarrheal illnesses in the country.

“ZADHR also calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to accurately declare the gravity of the current outbreak and if needed, invite international humanitarian aid to curb any continued loss of life from cholera,” he said

The Harare City health department has set up a treatment camp at Glenview Polyclinic to attend to those affected or those who have symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

At least 35 patients are admitted in hospital following the cholera outbreak in Harare, which comes at a time the city is struggling to provide water supplies to residents and clear piling garbage on the streets.