Zimbabwe Cholera Epidemic Persists in Harare Amid Continued Water Woes

Credits: Voice of America November 02, 2009 10:26 AM

Cholera infections continue to occur in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, and in the nearby satellite town of Chitungwiza, despite a steep decline in other parts of the country, according to the latest World Health Organization report on the nine-month epidemic.

The WHO reported 105 new cases in Harare, Chitungwiza and the Harare suburb of Budiriro in the five days through Monday, though listing no new deaths. But the Harare region has accounted for 19,232 cases and 653 deaths since the epidemic began in late 2008.

Cases nationally totaled 97,795 resulting in 4,265 deaths from the disease.

WHO attributed the persistence of the cholera epidemic in the capital region to disruptions in the local water supply and continued unhygienic disposal of waste.

Executive director Itai Rusike of the Community Working Group on Health told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the capital region risks another major outbreak of cholera when heavy rains resume in September.