Govt in bid to erad­i­cate cholera by 2030

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Govern­ment will con­tinue im­ple­ment­ing short and long term mea­sures to pre­vent the out­break of cholera, a disease that is still preva­lent in coun­try, with ef­forts al­ready un­der­way to en­sure it is erad­i­cated by 2030, an of­fi­cial has said.

In an in­ter­view, head of Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Disease Con­trol in the Min­istry of Health and Child Care, Dr Por­tia Manangazira said mea­sures have been put in place for this year to min­imise the disease that is preva­lent dur­ing the rainy sea­son.

“We have done the in­ten­sive phase of the out­break re­sponse to pre­vent new cases. I am also happy to say de­liv­ery of vac­cines has been done to the hotspots which are the hard­est hit ar­eas around the coun­try. Cur­rently we will be an­tic­i­pat­ing more cholera cases be­cause of the rain but now be­cause of the ef­fec­tive­ness of the vac­cine we know we are not out of trou­ble but we will an­tic­i­pate much less in­tense cholera out­breaks or oc­cur­rences, there­fore, the whole coun­try has been put on high alert by the Per­ma­nent Secretary,” said Dr Manangazira.

She added that in line with the Pres­i­dent’s call for the coun­try to at­tain a mid­dle income econ­omy by 2030, the min­istry was com­ing up with mea­sures that would erad­i­cate the disease by 2030.

“We have a na­tional task­force on the epi­demic disease and in Novem­ber we sat down to do a re­view of the out­break so that we could re-strate­gise, but also al­ready we have put into plan the long term mea­sures to elim­i­nate cholera.

“So as a coun­try we are look­ing at cholera elim­i­na­tion by 2030 in line with his Ex­cel­lency, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s vi­sion of mak­ing Zim­babwe a mid­dle-income econ­omy by 2030.

“We have also re­alised that cholera does not be­long to a mid­dle-income econ­omy which means devel­op­ment and cholera is not devel­op­ment. In terms of peo­ple liv­ing in crowded con­di­tions, poverty and un­avail­abil­ity of safe wa­ter and solid waste man­age­ment all these need to be ad­dressed as we embrace the mid­dle-income econ­omy and also as we en­sure that we elim­i­nate cholera. Hence, this can be achieved in three to five years when we ex­pect the coun­try to be mod­ernising with proper wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion and hy­gienic in­fra­struc­ture in place and cor­rec­tive ac­tion in terms of moderni­sa­tion,” she said.

Dr Manangazira also noted that the min­istry was pleased with the sharp de­cline in the num­ber of peo­ple be­ing ad­mit­ted in hos­pi­tals due to wa­ter-borne dis­eases.

“The daily re­ports show that cholera cases are de­clin­ing, this there­fore means that slowly but surely the disease will be erad­i­cated. Ac­cord­ing to the sit­u­a­tion re­port as at 2 Jan­uary 2019 no cases have been re­ported from most parts of the coun­try such as Harare, Bu­l­awayo, Gweru, and Kadoma among oth­ers.

“With last cases be­ing re­ported on De­cem­ber 30 in Mberengwa, De­cem­ber 26 in Mure­hwa and Mt Dar­win, and we are still watch­ing these places closely. Since the start of the out­break a cu­mu­la­tive to­tal of 10 630 cases of which 10 338 were sus­pected and 292 con­firmed and this in­clude 65 deaths to date,” she said.

More­over, the Pres­i­dent last year launched the First Fri­day of the month a na­tional clean-up day in a bid to en­sure the coun­try has sus­tain­able environment man­age­ment and waste dis­posal sys­tems.

This is in ac­cor­dance with Sec­tion 73 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe which guar­an­tees ev­ery cit­i­zen of Zim­babwe “the right to an environment that is not harm­ful to their health and well-be­ing”.

“We are also tak­ing the lead and sup­port­ing the ef­fort by the Pres­i­dent as it ren­ders prece­dence to our cholera elim­i­na­tion plan so as min­istry we have also met with head of­fice staff to plan for the 12th Fri­day of 2019 we are also go­ing to im­ple­ment our de­lib­er­ate ac­tion of clean­li­ness in our work places but also take it to our fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties as part of the na­tional ef­forts to clean up Zim­babwe.

“We are also fight­ing against ty­phoid, bil­harzia and other com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases as they are also to­tally pre­ventable by main­tain­ing clean­li­ness, clean hands, clean environment etc,” said Dr Manangazira.


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