Zimbabwe is facing a cholera crisis that has killed many people, over 150, and spread again over the last month to different areas, especially Harare, as health authorities have reported more than 8,000 suspected cases since February.
Since the outbreak began, Zimbabwe’s Health Ministry reported 8,087 suspected cholera cases and 1,241 laboratory-confirmed cases.
The country of 15 million people has been recording over 500 cases per week since late October, the highest rate since February, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. This month, the organisation issued an emergency appeal.
Cholera is an infection from dirty water or food that can cause death in hours without treatment. It is usually easy to treat by rehydrating patients if cases are caught in time.
According to the WHO, Africa is facing a rapid increase in cholera cases as part of a global surge. From 2014 to 2021, the continent had 21 percent of the world’s cases and 80 percent of the deaths caused by the disease.
Over 10 million people, including more than five million children, are at risk of cholera in Zimbabwe as the disease spreads from cities to villages. The Red Cross Federation said that bad hygiene, lack of knowledge and some religious beliefs that reject medical help are the main reasons.