US$24 million set aside for cholera response Minister Mutsvangwa

Mukudzei Chingwere

Herald Reporter

Cabinet has approved a budget of US$24 168 353 for the cholera epidemic preparedness and response plan in the wake of an outbreak that has ravaged regional neighbours.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this during a post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.

South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania have been hard hit by cholera and up to 13 countries including Zimbabwe have reported cases.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet was informed that cholera cases in Africa were being pushed up by cyclones, floods, conflicts, poor sanitation and unreliable water supplies.

Cross-border mobility has also been flagged as playing a part in the spread of cholera and other diseases.

Zimbabwe has largely succeeded in containing cholera since the outbreak with suspected cases standing at 231, against 209 recoveries and two deaths.

Cases have so far been reported in Matabeleland North and Midlands provinces.

“Cabinet wishes to assure the nation that the cholera situation is under control,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Active screening at ports of entry and exit has been initiated, and surveillance activities are ongoing. Cabinet approved a total budget of US$24 168 353 for the cholera epidemic preparedness and response plan.

“Several partners including the World Health Organisation, the Centre for Disease Control, UNICEF, Medicines sans Frontiers and Higher Life Foundation have pledged to support part of the budget.”

Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution and their teams have been urged to continue to support activities to fight the cholera outbreak.

Community and political leaders are also expected to lend maximum support to the anti-cholera programme through awareness activities, said Minister Mutsvangwa.

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