The European Union (EU) has donated close to $100 000 to fight cholera which has killed 49 people, mainly in Harare, since the outbreak of the water-borne disease was reported on September 6.
On September 11, the Government declared the outbreak a state of emergency, paving way for cooperating partners to intervene to help the situation.
The EU money will be used to help people in most affected areas like Glen View and Budiriro in Harare and Chitungwiza.
“In response to a severe outbreak of cholera that is believed to have infected over 6 400 people in Zimbabwe according to the World Health Organisation, the European Union is providing €90 000 in humanitarian funding to help control the deadly epidemic,” the EU said in a statement.
“The outbreak was declared on 6th September in the capital Harare and was followed by the proclamation of a state of emergency on 11th September. Five out of the country’s 10 provinces have reported sporadic cases.
“The EU funding will support the Zimbabwe Red Cross to carry out life-saving actions through the early detection of cases, followed by an immediate response at the community level and appropriate care for all patients.
“The humanitarian aid will directly benefit 15 000 people who live in Budiriro, Glen View, Chitungwiza and Mbare, the four affected suburbs of Harare where the outbreak originated.”
The EU added: “Eight oral rehydration points will be set up in these four affected areas for the treatment of cholera which causes profound loss of fluid in patients. 120 Red Cross volunteers, 20 supervisors and 60 community leaders will be trained on health and hygiene education.
“Door-to-door campaigns and mass media awareness will be conducted. Community volunteers will monitor the situation and refer cases. Soap, water purification tabs, buckets and jerry cans will be distributed, and 100 hand washing stations will be set up at health centres, oral rehydration points and other public places.
“The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This support comes after an initial allocation on 10 September of €8 500 from an ongoing EU-funded project implemented by the Finnish Red Cross in support of the Zimbabwe Red Cross.
“These emergency funds helped the Red Cross to kick-start the mobilisation of volunteers for hygiene and health promotion. The ultimate aim of EU humanitarian aid is to prevent further loss of life and help curb the ongoing outbreak which has already claimed 45 lives.”
Government has already provided over $6 million for emergency rehabilitation of water and sewer pipes as part of measures to deal with the outbreak.
Other long term solutions to deal with water and sewer reticulation in Harare are being sought.