State rolls out vac­cines

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Sun­day Mail Re­porters

IN THE com­ing weeks, Gov­ern­ment will be­gin ad­min­is­ter­ing cholera vac­cines in se­lect sub­urbs in or­der to con­tain the cur­rent out­break that has claimed more than 28 lives in the past two weeks, a Cabi­net Min­is­ter has said.

Yes­ter­day, 405 new cases were re­ported in Harare.

Harare’s high-den­sity sub­urbs of Glen View and Budiriro, which have been af­fected the most by the lat­est out­break, are part of the tar­geted sub­urbs.

Gov­ern­ment has also in­tro­duced a sec­ond line of cholera an­tibi­otics (Azithromycin) af­ter it emerged that the cur­rent cholera strain had be­come re­sis­tant to the first line of an­tibi­otics (ciprofloxacin and cef­tri­ax­one).

The multi-pronged strat­egy that has been de­vised by Gov­ern­ment also in­cludes the clear­ance of dump­sites in res­i­den­tial ar­eas, which will be com­ple­mented by puni­tive mea­sures against lit­ter­ing and il­le­gal dump­ing.

Speak­ing af­ter re­ceiv­ing do­na­tions from var­i­ous cor­po­rates at Beatrice Road In­fec­tious Dis­ease Hos­pi­tal (BRIDH) yes­ter­day, Health and Child Care Min­is­ter Dr Oba­diah Moyo said Gov­ern­ment is mov­ing to swiftly con­tain the out­break.

“We are happy with the re­sponse from var­i­ous cor­po­rates and in­di­vid­u­als that have part­nered with us to help con­tain the dis­ease. We are also grate­ful for the var­i­ous min­istries and in­sti­tu­tions that have joined forces with us to con­tain the out­break.

“As we speak, food vend­ing has been stopped around the city, which is a very good move. Although I can­not say we have con­tained the dis­ease as yet, we are mov­ing swiftly in all prov­inces of the coun­try to con­tain the dis­ease,” said Dr Moyo.

“We have in­tro­duced a num­ber of sus­tain­able mea­sures that will en­sure that even as we en­ter the rainy sea­son, we do not have any loss of life. There are some ar­eas that we have mapped up as high risk ar­eas for cholera, in­clud­ing Glen View and Budiriro. “Gov­ern­ment has al­ready ap­proved the vac­cines and our part­ner, GAVI, will sup­ply the them in the com­ing weeks.

“These are part of the mea­sures that have been in­tro­duced by Gov­ern­ment. We are mak­ing plans for spot checks when peo­ple are trav­el­ling be­tween point A and point B. We will in­tro­duce this soon. How­ever, at the mo­ment, we need to see how the con­tain­ment plans will work out.

“We have also moved into the sec­ond line of an­tibi­otics, which is Azithromycin, af­ter the first line of an­tibi­otics — Ciprofloxacin and Cef­tri­ax­one — have be­come re­sis­tant to the dis­ease.

“We are, how­ever, grate­ful to some of our part­ners who have man­aged to help with the drug, and we be­lieve some of the an­tibi­otics will be bought by Gov­ern­ment funds.”

The Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try Prisca Mup­fu­mira, who also vis­ited BRIDH yes­ter­day, said a short and long-term en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly plan will be launched this week.

“We have been do­ing some map­ping in ar­eas where dump­sites are preva­lent,” she said.

“Be­gin­ning next week, we will be re­mov­ing these dump­sites, as well as mon­i­tor­ing the re­pair of sewer pipes in these ar­eas.

“We have also come up with a strat­egy on keeping the en­vi­ron­ment clean. We need to dis­cour­age lit­ter­ing, so we are com­ing up with mea­sures meant to change peo­ple’s be­hav­iour.”

Cor­po­rates such as Econet, OK Zim­babwe, Av­enues Clinic, Famers Union, Zim­parks, Higher Life Foun­da­tion In­ter­na­tional, Zim­nat, Bor­row­dale Truama Cen­tre, Supreme Coun­cil of Is­lamic Af­fairs in Zim­babwe (SCIAZ) and Nem Chem, among oth­ers, have made do­na­tions to­wards fight­ing cholera.

OK Zim­babwe do­nated 200 cases of Water­guard to the City of Harare, while Zim­parks and Zim­nat do­nated 50 000 and 20 000 litres of clean water, re­spec­tively.

Av­enues Clinic do­nated 66 boxes of ringer flu­ids and 200 boxes of Azithromycin.

High Life Foun­da­tion do­nated 1000 plas­tic aprons, 500 pairs of heavy duty gloves,1 500 linen savers,10 000 sy­ringes,1 500 face masks,100 litres Jik, 32 700 la­tex gloves, 7 600 units ringers, 5 500 giv­ing sets, 8 800 bu­retrol,16 360 can­nu­las and 2 000 bot­tles of water guard.

Supreme Coun­cil of Is­lamic Af­fairs in Zim­babwe (SCIAZ) do­nated soaps, buck­ets and aqua tablets.

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