Cholera tightens grip on Zimbabwe capital

Saturday November 18 2023

Cholera patients rest on their beds inside the male ward in Harare, Zimbabwe on December 1, 2008. PHOTO | REUTERS


Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare, recorded more than half of the reported national suspected cholera cases on Friday as the pandemic continues to spread across the country, according to official figures.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care's situation report issued on Friday night, the city registered 75 new suspected cholera cases, contributing to the national figure of 140. Additionally, 15 confirmed cases, all from Manicaland Province, were reported on the same day.

Following an upsurge in cases, a special meeting by the Harare City Council on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the city. Cholera-related deaths in the city totalled four confirmed cases, with an additional 12 suspected deaths as of Friday.

Read: Water shortage deepens Harare’s economic woes

The ministry reported that confirmed cholera cases in the capital remained at 210, while suspected cases numbered 2,311. Stanley Gama, the city spokesperson, said that the most affected areas were the high-density suburbs of Kuwadzana, Glen View, Glen Norah and Budiriro.

Gama attributed the causes of cholera to several factors, including drinking untreated water, attending large gatherings, consuming food from unlicensed vendors, and the prevalence of blocked sewers resulting in sewage spilling into roads and homes.


He said it is important for people to seek early treatment to prevent fatalities, noting that treatment is available free of charge at all council clinics.

The government recently approved a budget of $12 million for the national cholera outbreak response.

As of Friday, the country had recorded 51 confirmed cholera deaths, 151 suspected cholera deaths, 1,283 confirmed cases, and 7,891 suspected cases. Manicaland Province remains the most affected, with 25 confirmed deaths, 79 suspected cholera deaths, 768 confirmed cases, and 3,232 suspected cases.