Corporates join cholera fight . . . Econet chips in with $10m
Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Econet Wireless has availed $10 million towards containing a dual outbreak of cholera and typhoid following the declaration of an emergency in Harare on Monday.
The President’s Fund also released $100 000 towards the same cause, while Quest Motors donated a 3,5 tonne truck to assist with logistical requirements in managing the outbreak.
The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS)has on the other hand launched a $250 000 appeal for it to assist the Government in its efforts to fight the outbreak.
As of yesterday, 25 people had died of cholera, while 3 766 others had received treatment at different camps in Harare since the beginning of the outbreak on September 6, 2018.
Speaking after receiving the donations in Harare yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said he was impressed by the response of different stakeholders and donors to the crisis.
He said Government was compiling a list of anticipated requirement.
Dr Moyo said the list included requirements from other Government departments like sewer and water reticulation systems.
“Since declaration of the outbreak as a disaster, we have been receiving assistance from different organisations and corporates. These include local and foreign companies. I am thrilled by the assistance that continues to come through,” he said.
Dr Moyo urged stakeholders to continue assisting Government in its quest for a long-term solution to end water and sanitation-related diseases like cholera and typhoid.
He said teams on the ground were working flat out to ensure the outbreak was contained.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro stressed the need for good personal hygiene.
He said cholera and typhoid simply means ingestion of human faecal matter.
“People must play their role by practising good personal hygiene to avoid getting these diseases. As a Ministry we are running with the cleanliness is next to godliness mantra: Zimbabwe shall be clean again,” he said.
Econet Wireless chief executive officer Mr Douglas Mboweni pledged to continue supporting Government to end the cholera and typhoid outbreak.
He said Econet had assisted in the fight against cholera since the 2008-2009 national outbreak.
“We will be walking together as partners and we will be available to do what needs to be done to assist in this crisis,” said Mr Mboweni.
President’s Fund chair Mrs Getrude Chikwava said the cholera situation required everyone’s contribution.
“Funded through playing lotto, we are delighted that we were able to respond as quickly as possible to the plea for assistance. When a disaster has been declared, it becomes everyone’s responsibility,” said Mrs Chikwava.
Quest Motors also offered free service for its truck for the next three months.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society said it was actively involved in community based monitoring of cholera, education and health promotion in communities, churches and schools.
It said to directly assist over 15 000 people with water and sanitation services to avoid further spreading of the outbreak, it required US$250 000.
“There is a high risk of the disease spreading to other provinces across the country as Midlands is geographically at the centre of the country and there is frequent movement of people. We have deployed most of the Red Cross volunteers to the capital city of Harare’s Glen View and Budiriro high density suburbs which have been identified as the epicentre of the outbreak,” said Mr Maxwell Phiri, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Secretary General.