Zimbabwe's government criticized over cholera outbreak


"While the deferment is purely on health grounds, beyond the control of the university, the institution, however, has had no reported case of cholera and is now deemed safe", Mapfumo said.

The Zimbabwe government has declared the outbreak a state of emergency and further banned all forms of public gatherings in attempts to control the further spread of the disease.

The diplomatic mission states in a note that events related to the outbreak of cholera and typhus have been observed and followed.

The outbreak was mainly caused due to the sewers getting burst in the suburbs of Budiriro and Glenview having the heavy population and now this has spread on to four other provinces as well.

Harare has also requested for drinking water from agencies under United Nations as well as from private organization.

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe, has pledged to tackle the current outbreak.UNICEF advised Zimbabweans to prevent cholera from spreading by regular hand-washing, drinking only safe water, washing food, cooking it thoroughly and avoiding shaking hands.

"I urge all residents of affected areas to exercise extra care with their hygiene & follow the instructions of the authorities", Mnangagwa said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Typhoid is also ravaging the southern city of Gweru, with 10 people already having succumbed to the disease.

Mnangagwa, who won an election in July after first taking power when Mugabe was toppled a year ago, faces the hard task of rebuilding an economy that collapsed under Mugabe's four-decade rule.

Cholera outbreaks have occurred regularly in Zimbabwe's cities where supplies of potable water and sanitation facilities are scarce.

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Jessica Pwiti, the executive director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe, said it was appalling that people were still dying from a preventable disease in the 21st century.

"No lessons were learned from the 2008 epidemic and the outbreak and deaths we're seeing now is symptomatic of a still broken-down sanitation infrastructure and poor sewer management, worsened by a shortage of drugs and medical supplies", she added.

"Cholera is a symbol of inequity". So far 1,901 cases (1,843 suspected and 58 confirmed cases) have been reported along with 24 deaths.

While Zimbabwe had reported cholera cases every year over the past three years, the scale was comparatively lower (20 cases in 2015, 2 cases in 2016, and 6 cases in 2017).

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