INTRODUCTION of cholera vaccines has been cited as critical in containing the spread of the disease.
According to the results released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care this Friday, a total of 137 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded, with 13 being confirmed.
There were 120 recoveries and 1 suspected cholera death.
The government has since declared 17 districts cholera hotspots, with Chimanimani, Mbire, Chegutu and Masvingo having the highest numbers of recorded cases.
While other neighbouring countries that include Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi have been battling cholera outbreaks, Zimbabwe has managed to contain the spread of the disease.
Health officials have been on high alert, especially in border towns where volumes of human traffic are high.
Health Analyst and Executive Director of the Community Working Group on Health, Mr Itai Rusike cited the importance of cholera vaccinations in controlling the spread of the disease.
“For the prevention of cholera, we need to make sure that there is the provision of safe water because of the rains being experienced across the country, there is a high risk of water contamination,” he said.
“This means, people now need to be extra vigilant in their sources of water by boiling it or using purifying tablets, washing fruits and hands. As we did on typhoid, the mass vaccination blitz, it is the same that must be done for cholera especially in the hotspots to avoid a pandemic. The cholera vaccines will greatly assist in the eradication of the disease.”
Although it is considered a medieval disease, cholera continues to be a major public health challenge.
The outbreaks often follow a cyclical pattern, coinciding with the rainy season.
The government has since set up a Multi-Sectoral Cholera Plan to eliminate the disease by 2028 through the implementation of various measures like Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes, in areas that are perennially affected by cholera and typhoid.- ZBC News