Zimbabwe: UN agencies assist in fight against cholera outbreak

16 September 2008

United Nations agencies are working with local authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe to combat a deadly outbreak of cholera on the outskirts of the national capital, Harare.

So far 11 people have died and 80 others have been infected in the outbreak, which was first reported earlier this month, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.

She said a lack of clean water for domestic use has helped to fuel the spread of cholera. In the affected area, sewer line blockages are common, resulting in frequent incidents of sewage flowing along the streets in open drains.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have established two cholera treatment clinics, which are now mainly managed by the NGO known as Médecins Sans Frontières.

Temporary measures have also been introduced to tackle water shortages in the hard-hit areas. Some 30,000 litres of drinking water will be delivered by truck each day for the duration of the outbreak, Ms. Okabe added.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UNICEF boosts efforts to tackle deadly cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stepped up its efforts to control an especially virulent outbreak of cholera in Guinea-Bissau, where at least 96 people have died since mid-May and almost 300 new cases were reported in just two days last week.