ZIMBABWE is battling to contain yet another cholera outbreak nearly a decade after over 4 000 people lost their lives to the disease.
Two people are suspected to have succumbed to cholera, the Health ministry revealed this Thursday.
One case was confirmed at Rupangwana clinic in Chiredzi district.
“To date there is one confirmed case at Rupangwana and three suspected cases in Chinyamukwakwa of which two have died,” deputy Health minister, Aldrin Masiiwa, told a news conference.
“The three suspected cases had contact with the confirmed index case admitted at Rupangwana clinic in Chiredzi district who had come from Chipinge on the 9th of March 2017. The cases are being managed at the two clinics in Chiredzi and Chipinge.”
The outbreak comes as the country is recovering from a typhoid outbreak that claimed nine lives and affected over 200 people. Cholera causes severe vomiting and diarrhea which can turn fatal in a few hours if not treated.
The ministry believes the outbreak could have been caused by the recent floods which left the communities without safe drinking water and access to health facilities or may have spread from Mozambique.
“The area where the cases have been recorded is adjacent to the border where there is an influx of people from Mozambique. The rapid response teams are on the ground conducting assessment. Medicines and other supplies are being mobilised and moved to the affected communities,” he said.
“My ministry, with the help of WHO and other partners, has 10 diarrheal kits in all provinces each capable of treating 500 cases. Non Food Items kits which include soap, water treatment tablets, buckets and others have also been prepositioned.”
Mozambique has recorded over 1 200 cases since beginning of this month. There is significant human movement across the boundary line of the two countries to the extent that the communities were recently complaining about losing cattle to Renamo raids.
Last year Zimbabwe recorded another case from the same area.
Nevertheless the country has, for years, been battling to contain waterborne diseases owing to poor supply of water, waste collection and sewage systems.
Lives are lost to typhoid, diarrhea and dysentery every year.