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Cholera death toll tops 746

CRISIS: Water containers in a queue, awaiting the arrival of a UNICEF water truck in Harare
CRISIS: Water containers in a queue, awaiting the arrival of a UNICEF water truck in Harare

Cholera death toll rises to 565, ministers emergency declared

Cholera death toll nears 400, minister warns outbreak could worsen

Minister says cholera outbreak 'under control'

CHOLERA FACTS: How to avoid disease

SA, Zim officials in crisis meeting over cholera outbreak

2 Zimbabwean cholera victims die in SA

SA treats 68 cholera patients on Zim border

Cholera outbreak hits Harare, Chitungwiza

Report reveals srorry state of Zimbabwe's health service

Parirenyatwa stops surgical operations in drug crisis

21 buffalo die in feared anthrax outbreak

Malaria kills 329 people in Zimbabwe

Anthrax outbreak kills 1500 animals

Posted to the web: 10/12/2008 13:41:33
THE death toll from Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak has risen sharply, the United Nations said Wednesday, reporting 746 deaths and 15,572 cases of the water-borne disease.

Cholera has spread in Zimbabwe because of the country's crumbling health care system and water infrastructure.

Last week, Zimbabwe declared a health emergency because of cholera and the collapse of its health services.

The U.N. humanitarian office in Geneva reported Tuesday that 589 people had died out of 13,960 cases.

Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu claimed the disease was "under control."

However, aid agencies have warned about coming rains further spreading cholera in a population already weakened by disease and hunger.

There are also concerns about Zimbabwe's neighbours being affected. South Africa has been caring for scores of Zimbabwean cholera victims who have crossed the border seeking help. Almost 500 cholera cases have been detected in South Africa, nine of whom died.

Also Wednesday, Nobel peace laureate Martti Ahtisaari criticized Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, saying the international community failed to meet its obligation to intervene when "something goes terribly wrong, as it has."

He said Mugabe "was the hope of the continent after Zimbabwe was born. How this desire for absolute power make somebody behave the way he has done? I feel very sad about that."

Mugabe, 84, has ruled his country since its 1980 independence from Britain.

A power-sharing deal worked out in September with the opposition has been deadlocked over how to divvy up Cabinet posts.

Meanwhile, a group of lawyers marched peacefully through downtown Harare calling for the release of human rights activist, Jestina Mukoko.

Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was allegedly taken from her home a week ago, when activists held nationwide protests against the country's deepening economic and health crises.

Zimbabwean security officials regularly detain, harass and beat opponents of Mugabe's increasingly autocratic rule, although the government denies such allegations.

A judge on Tuesday ordered police to investigate Mukoko's disappearance.

The lawyers - some dressed in their black gowns - carried placards reading: "Stop abductions now" and calling Mukoko a "woman of peace." - AP
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