The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa and two cabinet ministers have visited cholera patients at Beatrice Infectious Hospital in Harare following an outbreak that has so far claimed 21 lives.

The cholera outbreak in Harare and other parts of the country is a setback to the country’s economic development plan.

Amai Mnangagwa, who is the ambassador of healthy, was accompanied by the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obediah Moyo, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima, Health Permanent Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji and several officials from the health ministry when he visited the hospital.

The First Lady called on every Zimbabwean to join hands and help in containing the disease and suggested the need for a sustainable clean up exercise plan.

Minister Moyo said the cholera epidemic continues to spread in the country with the death toll reported at 21 by this Wednesday morning.

Minister Moyo, who confirmed that they held an inter-ministerial meeting today on how to contain the disease, also said blocked sewer pipes and lack of clean water have been found to be the main causes of the cholera and typhoid outbreaks in Glenview and Budiriro.

“Glenview and Budiriro remain the epicenter of the disease with the one reported Cholera death in Masvingo having been traced to Glenview. Blocked sewer pipes and lack of clean water are the main causes of the cholera and typhoid epidemics in the two Harare suburbs,” he said.

The Minister announced that drastic measures including the banning of vending in Glenview and Budiriro as one of the ways to stop the disease’s further spread.

He revealed that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is being engaged to stop vending in the epicenter until the outbreaks are contained and measures are put in place to ensure hygiene and proper sanitation to stop cholera outbreak.

Minister Moyo also highlighted that the outbreak of cholera is not just cholera but it also has typhoid with cases increasing daily and the total number of cases now stands at 3067, 21 deaths and 45 confirmed cases.

Dr Moyo said resources have been promised by UNICEF, Delta and Stanbic Bank, and appealed to other well wishers in the corporate world for more resources emphasising that the 2008 loss of lives should be averted.

He stressed the need for cholera education to create awareness of proper hygiene to bring back the cleanliness of yesteryear before the sanctions.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Professor Paul Mavhima however clarified that no pupil has succumbed to cholera as reported in some sections of the media.

He said his ministry has come up with a platform for effective communication to ensure schools remain safe.

Effective hygiene among citizens is said to be key in curbing cholera which has threatened the country’s health delivery system.