Action against hunger intensifies cholera fight

The project seeks to reduce the spread of cholera and acute diarrheal diseases outbreak in Bulawayo

Action Contre la Faim (Action against hunger), in partnership with Africa AHEAD (AA) and Bulawayo City Council (BCC) have embarked on a drive to curb cholera, amidst an outbreak of the water borne disease in the country and region.

The project, named Emergency WASH Response in Bulawayo, was initiated in April and will run up to October in Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

The project seeks to reduce the spread of cholera and acute diarrheal diseases outbreak in Bulawayo and to build the capacity of city health officials, rapid response team, communities and environmental health technicians to prepare for, and adequately respond to outbreak events.

“Bulawayo is already facing  critical water supply challenges and enhancing clean and adequate water supply is therefore key to cutting the feacel-oral routes and help stop the spread of cholera and acute watery diarrheal (AWD),” said Action Contre la Faim, Deputy Country Director, Admire Mukorera.

“The project will therefore rehabilitate 30 broken down boreholes as well as constructing three new ones in cholera hotspot areas with low water supply. It will also supply BCC with water quality testing consumables for testing of water not only from the project-supplied water sources but also many other water sources where people access water from, to meet World Health Organisation’s standards and guidelines.”

Since 2002, ACF in partnership with Africa AHEAD has been effecting positive change in Zimbabwe in the sectors of nutrition, food security, WASH, and health, and is known nationwide, particularly as a strong WASH player in the country.

As an international organisation, ACF’s comparative advantage is to ensure interventions meet global and national standards and use its vast WASH experience to ensure adequate involvement and consultation with the local and central government, and coordination bodies.

“To minimise the spread of cholera, the project will use Case Area Targeted Interventions (CATI) to track down cases, and will also provide Non-Food Items (NFI)/CATI kits to the Rapid Response teams.

“To reach as many households as possible, and to build the capacity of local communities to be their own first responders, the project will work with and through Community Health Workers (CHWs),” said Mukorera.

As of June 30, Zimbabwe had recorded a total of 3,017 suspected cases of cholera, with 19 confirmed deaths and 52 suspected deaths.

The largest outbreak recorded in Zimbabwe, which was also one of the largest ever in Africa, occurred during the 2008-09 period, where 98 592 cases were reported, with 4 288 deaths.

The next episode saw a total of 10 730 cholera cases and 68 deaths recorded between September 6, 2018 and March 26, 2019.

Most provinces in the country have reported occurrences, which point to a global problem: a lack of proper investment in clean water infrastructure at both local government and national levels.

Related Topics