Zimbabwe cholera death toll rises to 3,300

February 5th, 2009 - 7:02 am ICT by IANS  

Harrare, Feb 5 (Xinhua) The cholera death toll in Zimbabwe has reached 3,300, a World Health Organisation (WTO) official has said. WTO country representative Custodia Mandlhate was quoted by local media New Ziana as saying that a total of 65,700 cases had also been reported since the first outbreak in August last year.

She said fears were that about 32,000 new cases would be recorded in the near future if little was done to control the disease.

“As of Tuesday, a total of 65,700 cases of cholera had been reported,” she said, stressing that “about 3,300 people have died since August last year”.

She said the war against cholera had not yet been won and there was need for all stakeholders to intensify efforts to curb the spread of the deadly pandemic.

She said cholera was more prone during the rainy season, and with the current rains, more cases could be recorded if little was done to avert the outbreak.

“Another worrying development is that the outbreaks have shifted from urban areas to rural areas,” Mandlhate said.

She urged the government and other stakeholders to cooperate in providing clean water and sanitation services to rural areas.

She said the war against cholera had been compounded by the lack of water treatment chemicals, medicines, drugs and other resources. Brain drain in the health sector, she added, had also crippled the campaign.

The current cholera outbreak has been the worst ever pandemic to hit the country in recent years.

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