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Zimbabwe extends cholera vaccination amid declining new cases

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Harare: The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday extended oral cholera vaccination in the capital Harare amid a marked decline in new cases countrywide.

Due to the decline, the government also authorized the decommissioning of cholera treatment centers in areas where cases have reduced to zero, with the equipment and supplies being redistributed to emerging hotspots, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said at a press briefing.

Zimbabwe reported a 7 percent decrease in new cholera cases during the past week, with new cases emanating mainly from unsupervised religious gatherings and funerals, and mobile artisanal miners residing in compounds with poor water and sanitation facilities, poor hand hygiene practices and recurrent bursts of sewer reticulation systems in urban areas, Muswere said.

In response to the cholera challenges, Muswere said more community health workers have been deployed to conduct door-to-door health education, administer oral rehydration solutions in communities and promote good hygiene practices.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care will continue to monitor and supervise religious gatherings and funerals as well as to intensify risk communication and community engagement, he added.

Zimbabwe has been battling a cholera outbreak for the past year, which is now on the decline after the government started a cholera vaccination campaign last month targeting hotspots in the country.

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