Zimbabwe Reports 139 New Cases of Cholera Across the Country

A total of 139 new cholera cases, with more than half from Harare Province, were recorded on Thursday as Zimbabwe continues to battle the current outbreak, which has hit more than 12 000 people.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care situation report for December 21, this was a 17 percent increase from the 118 suspected cases reported the previous day.

The cases were reported from Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital (38), Kuwadzana (16), Glen View (13), Mutare (12), Chitungwiza City (15), Buhera (10), Budiriro (8), Mbare Poly (5), Gutu (5), Mbire (4), Rutsanana (3), Mwenezi (2), Chiredzi (2), Western Triangle (1), Highfield (1), Shamva (1), Mutoko (1), Makoni (1), and Masvingo (1).

So far, 54 districts have reported cases, with Manicaland recording the highest number of cases at 4 659 since the beginning of the outbreak in February, closely followed by Harare which has 4 635 cases to date, although once the 958 from Chitungwiza are counted, the metropolitan province is the leader.

Masvingo has reported 1 168 cases, Matabeleland South 364, Mashonaland Central 260, Mashonaland East 193 and Midlands 144. Bulawayo with 12 and Matabeleland North with six have the lowest infection rates.

As of 21 December, a total of 108 cases were hospitalised in various health facilities cross the country. Beatrice Road had 25 cases in care while Chitungwiza City had six.

In Masvingo Province, two cases were hospitalised in Zaka, three in Chiredzi, five in Gutu, one in Bikita and one in Chivi.

Manicaland, which has also been reporting a high number of cases, had 11 hospitalised cases in Buhera, 20 in Mutare Rural, 21 in Chipinge and one in Mutare City. Mberengwa had four cases in the health institutions while Zvishavane had three then Mbire had four and Mutoko had one.

The national recovery rate remained unchanged at 97 percent after 12 284 people recovered from the disease.

Although the country has recorded 12 673 suspected cholera cases and 219 suspected deaths, laboratory tests have confirmed 1 561 cases and 62 deaths.

The Government has rolled out various interventions to curb the spread of cholera with focus on the hotspots in Harare and Buhera where most of the cases have been recorded.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora recently said the restoration of power supply to Morton Jaffray water plant had increased clean water supply to suburbs which had been affected.

“The challenges we have had in Kuwadzana were related to clean water supply but the Government has been able to intervene and fix the main line which feeds Morton Jaffary with power, so I think we are now able to supply clean water more frequently than before,” he said.

Kuwadzana also received supplies for the cholera treatment centres that included oral rehydration salts, intravenous rehydration salts among others donated by medical insurer Cimas.

While cases continue to be reported, the numbers have considerably declined. In Manicaland however, Buhera district continues to report new cases of cholera. “In Manicaland, we have a huge challenge but it’s a combination of a population there which belongs to a certain apostolic sect and does not believe in seeking medical care so there are delays in seeking medical treatment and it increases the mortality,” said Dr Mombeshora.

“We have scaled up some interventions there and drilled boreholes to supply fresh water. We have increased health education in schools and communities using the traditional leaders and other political leadership and the changes we have seen in Buhera are because of that.”

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