who.jpgThe local rapid response team known as the Cholera Command and Control Centre (C4) which spearheaded the Cholera Response Campaign in Zimbabwe 2 years ago, has been honoured at a ceremony that was held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, during the World Health Organisation 60th Regional Committee meeting.

 

The team was given an award in recognition of its role in coordinating the management of the cholera outbreak response between August 2008 and July 2009.

 

The Zimbabwean team received an award at the WHO 60th Regional Committee meeting.

 

Unveiling the award, WHO country representative, Dr Custodia Mandhlate said the 2008 to 2009 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe provided valuable lessons for both the government and development partners as they learnt how to respond to outbreaks.

 

“What happened in this country in 2008 at a time when neither the government nor development partners had a response plan almost added to the disaster. Fortunately the government acted fast and a response team was quickly put in place which managed to avert the further spread of cholera,” Dr Mandlate.

 

Dean of the Ambassadors in Zimbabwe, Mr Mwanananga Mwawampanga said while two years might seem like a long time, responsible authorities must not fold their hands and say the worst is over, but must remain vigilant and ensure that such an outbreak never occurs again.

 

mwanananga mawampanga.jpgMr Mwawampanga said: “We must not forget what happened two years ago. The responsible authorities must always be alert and ensure that such a crisis does not occur again in this country, human lives must not be lost unnecessarily.”

 

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Mr Davis Dhlakama commended the C4 team for the outstanding work which led to the recognition by the WHO.

The award was received by Dr Portia Manangazira from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and Dr Lincoln Charimani from WHO at a colourful ceremony held at a local hotel in Harare.

 

Some of the team members have been approached to go and share their expertise in Haiti which is currently facing a cholera outbreak.

 

Several representatives from the donor organisations including DFID and USAID among others also graced the occasion.

 

The unprecedented cholera outbreak with a record of 98 592 cases in 54 out of the 62 districts in the country, led the Zimbabwean government to declare the outbreak an emergency.

 

The response team was formed in December 2008.