New Health Minister vows cholera fight, improved services

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By Anna Chibamu

NEWLY appointed Health Minister Obadiah Moyo has set his sights towards dealing with a devastating cholera outbreak that has claimed 18 lives in a space of a week amid fears of a full blown catastrophe engulfing the country.

Since the outbreak was declared in Harare’s Glen View and Budiriro suburbs last week, more than 400 cases have been reported.

The disease has also spread to other parts of Harare and there were fears it could further spread to other parts of the country.

However, in an interview with soon after swearing in at State House on Monday, Moyo promised to visit the affected areas to assess the impact of the disease.

“We have cholera now and it’s a major issue,” he said.

“It is a matter of going there to assess the situation and come up with a plan together with the team.

“The idea is to control the cholera outbreak and be able to ensure that there are no more deaths.”

Turning to other areas to do with his mandate, the former Chitungwiza Hospital CEO, renowned for turning the institution into one of the best public referral centres in the country a few years back, vowed improved services at every other hospital in the country.

“The appointment is a big step for me and I am grateful to the President and to God for this.

“I have promised that I will work as hard as I can to ensure that we improve services in our ministry and make sure that all members of staff within the ministry are well looked after.

“We shall ensure that drugs are available, disease burden is reduced and controlled.”

Moyo promised improved service delivery in the country’s hospitals to ensure specialist services were available locally as opposed to citizens turning to hospitals outside the country.