The Zimbabwean government has approved a 24-million-dollar budget to combat cholera, as 13 African countries deal with the disease, which has killed hundreds of people since early 2023.
Many Zimbabweans recall the cholera outbreak that struck the country between 2008 and 2009, killing over 4,000 people out of over 98,500 documented cases.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the present outbreak is the worst to hit the region in recent years, and it is a public health emergency for children.
Zimbabwe had 231 suspected cholera cases and two deaths as of March 28.
On Tuesday, Zimbabwean cabinet members deliberated on a report on the country’s cholera response provided by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga.
They assured the country that everything was under control.
The minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, stated at a press conference following the cabinet meeting that cholera epidemics in Africa have occurred in the setting of cyclones, floods, conflicts, poor sanitation, and unpredictable water sources.
She said that “so far, 13 African nations have reported cholera outbreaks,” implying that cross-border travel played a role in the spread of cholera and other infections.
Despite the documented occurrences in Zimbabwe, the death rate remains low. Zimbabwe’s total number of suspected cholera cases was 231, with 209 recoveries and two deaths.
According to Mutsvangwa, only Matabeleland North and Midlands provinces have reported no cholera cases so far.
She assured the nation that the issue was under control, citing active screening at ports of entrance and exit, as well as surveillance activities.
The cabinet approved a total budget of 24,168,353 US dollars for the cholera epidemic preparedness and response plan, according to the ministry.
She stated that numerous partners, including the World Health Organization, have promised to contribute to a portion of the funding.
Community and political leaders are also expected to provide their full support to the anti-cholera campaign through public awareness campaigns, she added.