douglass mombeshora 08.11.10.jpgHealth officials from Manicaland Province have been placed on high alert amid reports that at least 16 people have died from a fresh cholera outbreak that started in October and whose epicentre is Marange.  

 

As of the 2nd of this month, 16 people were reported to have died from a fresh cholera outbreak in Marange District. 

  

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said 753 cumulative cholera cases have been reported so far, with 669 suspected cases and 86 laboratory confirmed cases, while 16 deaths having been reported so far. 

 

“Thirteen were community deaths where the people died at their homes and 3 were institutional deaths. 

We have noticed also that there is a general tendency by people to slacken when they think that the worst is over.After last year’s cholera outbreak, people had learnt not to shake hands but that is all a thing of the past now, people are back to their old ways of doing things including eating cold food,” said Dr.Mombeshora.

 

Most of the recently reported cases of cholera have been linked to illegal diamond mining activities at Chiadzwa, where illegal diamond miners are living under unhygienic conditions.

 

More than 70 people have been admitted at hospitals in nearby Mutare.

 

 Dr Mombeshora noted that there is also a possibility that some people who cross from neighboring Mozambique might be bringing the disease into Zimbabwe.
 
“Investigations are still being done because we want to determine the exact cause of the outbreak again, but we are not ruling out the unhygienic conditions and illegal border jumpers from Mozambique,” added Dr. Mombeshora.

 

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is working in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to contain the outbreak in the area.

 

 The advent of the rainy season raises fears that the outbreak could get worse if urgent action to contain it is not taken.