NEWS – Zimbabwe declares cholera crisis .
Zimbabwe has declared a cholera outbreak blamed for killing more than 560 people, a “national emergency” and appealed for international aid to tackle the epidemic. David Parirenyatwa, the health minister, is saying there was a critical shortage of resources for dealing with the crisis.”Our central hospitals are literally not functioning. Our staff is demotivated and we need your support to ensure that they start coming to work and our health system is revived,” Parirenyatwa was reported as saying.
The UN humanitarian office estimates the death toll from a deadly cholera outbreak at 565 people, with Harare, the capital, the worst affected.Cholera, which brings on diarrhoea that can fast lead to severe dehydration and death, is preventable and treatable under normal circumstances.But Zimbabwe’s health sector is collapsing, with not enough money to pay for essential resources, while doctors and nurses often strike over pay.
Harare residents suffered a crippling 48 hour water cut, after the state-run water company ran short of aluminium sulphate, a chemical used to purify water, on Saturday.But Mzembi warned his ministry only had water treatment chemicals to last about 12 weeks, and called for donor support, the Herald reported.”I am appealing for at least 40 million rand [$3.89m] to purchase chemicals for the next two months and the money is needed between now and next Monday,” The Herald quoted him as saying.The Zimbabwe government also appealed for $450m in aid to deal with food shortages.
Zimbabwe is suffering the world’s highest inflation, officially estimated at 231 million per cent, unemployment of more than 80 per cent and dire food, water and fuel shortages.[source: TV NEWS]