IT would seem there is no end in sight to the cholera crisis given the blame game thrown in the fray at a time the water-borne disease is spreading like a veld fire.
Zimbabwe had 8 787 suspected cholera cases, 1 319 confirmed cases, 8 414 recoveries, 53 confirmed deaths and 155 suspected deaths as of Wednesday, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
This means that in four days since Sunday, Zimbabwe had recorded 700 news cases.
These chilling statistics come before the beginning of the rainy season which will worsen the crisis and, with the festive season fast approaching, this could further spiral out of control, if the situation is not contained.
As things stand, the outlook is gloomy.
The fight against cholera is no longer the duty of local authorities alone.
We say this after the City of Harare admitted on Thursday that it was complicit in the cholera outbreak after failing to supply clean water to residents.
This comes after the government failed to deliver on its pledge to provide resources for the purchase of water treatment chemicals.
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Was the central government being populist when it publicly pledged to provide chemicals to the local authority?
Was it setting up the Harare City Council for failure? Such populism is retrogressive as Zimbabwe battles the waterborne disease.
As Harare City Council’s health services director Prosper Chonzi said on Thursday, “we need to help each other and stop the blame game”.
The seriousness on the part of government is missing in the cholera fight.
There is a need for the government and local authorities to put their heads together and stop politicising everything. Lives should be saved from this medieval disease.
On Tuesday, Cabinet resolved that public health measures be enforced in all communities reporting cholera cases, including restrictions on gatherings and supervision of all burials in all cholera hotspots.
It said vending would be restricted to designated areas.
Cabinet said the government was intervening in the maintenance of Harare City Council water bowsers, since the local authority was failing to provide water and sanitation.
These noble intentions have to be followed to the letter.
Implementation should be the buzzword.
Chonzi said “we have a crisis on our hands”.
“We need to put our heads together, even with central government and the nation at large.”
We couldn't agree more. The death toll of 2008 in which over 4 000 lives were lost to the waterborne disease has not been forgotten by citizens.
If left unchecked, cholera could be the grinch to steal the festive cheers.