By Staff Reporter
IN the wake of over 300 people who have reportedly succumbed to cholera, Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, has called on the government to prioritise setting up equipped treatment units at epicentres of the outbreak.
Zimbabwe’s current cholera crisis is the worst since 2008 when some 4,000 citizens died in a nationwide outbreak that the government declared a “national emergency”. Cholera is also a recurring problem in other nearby southern African states, including Malawi, South Africa, and Mozambique.
Suspected and confirmed cases have been reported in all the country’s 10 provinces and 41 out of 62 districts, with the most alarming spikes in the south-eastern provinces of Masvingo, Harare, Manicaland and Mashonaland West.
Chamisa said swift and efficient care is paramount to containing the spread and providing timely assistance to those affected by the outbreak of the medieval disease.
“I am deeply concerned over the cholera crisis unfolding in Zimbabwe. According to recent media reports, there are currently over 16,000 infections and a death toll exceeding 300, so urgent action is imperative.
“Establishing well-equipped cholera treatment centres is a priority, especially in the epicentres of the outbreak. Swift and efficient care is paramount to containing the spread and providing timely assistance to those affected,” he said.
The main opposition leader hailed frontline staff which he said needed immediate support.
“The authorities must ensure they are equipped with the necessary resources to effectively treat cholera cases.
“The dedication of our frontline services under difficult circumstances is commendable, and we owe them the tools they need to save lives.”
Chamisa reiterated clean water is a basic human right and a constitutional right under section 77 (a) of the Zimbabwe Constitution.
“I call for a concentrated effort to supply safe drinking water to our citizens. Access to clean water is fundamental in preventing the further escalation of this devastating cholera outbreak.
“Information is power. Regular dissemination of comprehensive updates on the country’s cholera status and the public health response is crucial.
“Empower our citizens with the knowledge to take necessary precautions and contribute to the overall containment efforts. The Ministries of Health and Information must act swiftly on this prerequisite as per section 62 of our Constitution.”
Chamisa said the continued governance crisis in Zimbabwe impedes effective cholera response saying immediate reforms are imperative to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe, as well as the broader region, can be spared further suffering from the relentless impact of the crisis.
“I appeal to our international partners for continued support. Collaboration is key to facing this crisis head-on. Together, we can ensure that Zimbabwe receives the assistance it needs.
“In this critical moment, let us stand united. Our collective well-being is at stake, and we have a responsibility to institute immediate and effective measures to address this humanitarian crisis.”