By Audience Mutema
THE death toll from the recent cholera outbreak has risen to 54 with five deaths having been recorded last week in Manicaland province’s Buhera area.
This was revealed by Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo during a Friday donation ceremony of drugs, blankets and disinfectants towards combating the scourge.
“Cholera deaths were stagnant at 49 and suddenly this 5 died in Buhera last week; so it brought our number to 54,” Moyo said.
The ceremony, held at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, Harare, saw the donation of 1 million rands worth of drugs, 300 blankets as well as 100 units of sunlight liquid and 100 units of Domestos.
The donors were Standard Association of Zimbabwe, Health Profession Authority and Novartis, a Swiss based global health firm.
Since the epidemic was declared a state of emergency September this year, government has pulled all the stops to try and prevent the further spread of a disease that saw also left some 10 000 locals needing clinical treatment for suspected cases.
While there have been sporadic cases of cholera elsewhere, Harare’s Glen View and Budiriro suburbs have been hotspots, with serious cases referred to Beatrice.
In his address, Minister Moyo said the donation was going to be distributed to all provinces in the country including rural areas such as Buhera.
“We are not going to give all the donations to Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital,” he said.
“I have heard some rumours that we are only donating to Harare Hospitals, but now we are going to distribute countrywide.
“We must never forget the rural hospitals. Last time I visited Siyakobvu, They need help and we should help them.”
Despite fresh deaths having been recorded lately, the minister said authorities were winning the war against both cholera and typhoid.
“The system has worked so hard as we are managing to control cholera and typhoid,” he said.
Moyo also vowed to improve standards within the country’s entire health system, through, among other things, upgrading some rural hospitals.
“We are going to upgrade the primary health facilities so that when patients are transferred, they are referred from a good condition,” he said.