Harare Cholera Outbreak: rights doctors blast government

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By Staff Reporter

NEWLY appointed Health Minister Obediah Moyo literally flies into a cholera storm with the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) blaming government ineptitude for the outbreak.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday appointed Moyo, famed for transforming Chitungwiza Hospital into a self-sustaining entity, as Heath Minister.

Moyo replaced long serving David Parirenyatwa amid a recurrence of the devastating outbreak of the tropical disease that has already claimed scores of people.

In a statement, ZADHR said it was “deeply concerned” with the latest cholera outbreak in Harare and other towns and cities.

“ZADHR bemoans the continued loss of lives to cholera, typhoid and other diarrheal illnesses in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe has over the years been a central figure on the world cholera map, together with other war torn or collapsed states,” the rights group said.

“It is deeply worrying that the central and local government authorities have not moved with speed in allocating time, human and financial resources towards finding a lasting solution to the persistent outbreak of diarrheal illnesses in Zimbabwe.”

With new local authorities having been elected at the end of July and installation underway, ZADHR said provision of service delivery and in particular water will be key warning any further deterioration could be fatal.

“The state of service delivery ranging from water supply, refuse collection and sewer reticulation has continued to deteriorate thereby posing a grave danger to inhabitants of most urban and peri-urban communities.

“ZADHR, therefore, calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to urgently appoint a national taskforce comprising of Ministry of health, local government, civil society, residents’ associations and other stakeholders that will comprehensively come up with actionable plans to deal with the resurgence of diarrheal illnesses in Zimbabwe,” the statement said.

ZADHR called for the outbreak that has also been reported in Masvingo a state of disaster.

“The government of Zimbabwe (should) accurately declare the gravity of the current outbreak and if needed invite international humanitarian aid to curb any continued loss of life from cholera.

“ZADHR will urgently deploy teams of doctors throughout the country to complement existing medical staff and monitor the current outbreak,” said ZADHR.