Cholera death toll rises in Zimbabwe, more areas affected

SwitzerlandGeneva  - The death toll from the recent outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe has risen to 389, the United Nations said Friday, with a total of 9,463 cases reported.

In the least three days, 76 new deaths were reported, the UN's Children's Fund UNICEF said. The disease has also spread to more areas.

"The disease is preventable and curable," said Fadila Chaib of the World Health Organization.

The UN and its partners were bringing in more supplies, including water, fuel, hygiene kits and body bags.

Chaib blamed an accumulation of many factors, including Zimbabwe's deteriorating health system, the poor living conditions of much of the nation's population and a failing water and sewage system.

The country's political problems and economic woes, including its rampant hyperinflation, were also complicating the problems, officials said.

Zimbabwe also suffers from a lack of medicines and a strike in the public health sectors were workers are complaining that they have not received wages.

Supplying clean water and medicines to the country was a key to control the problem, Chaib said.

A UN official said this outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe was the worst in recent memory.

Neighboring Botswana and South Africa have also been hit by cholera, which officials said was the result, at least partially, of the high migration in the region.

The International Organization for Migration said it was working on the border town of Beitbridge to help contain the spread of the disease. (dpa)




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