- Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare has killed one and left 20 hospitalised, state media reported today.
The death brings toll to 121 of people who have died of the disease this year, according to Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR).
"We are worried by the way it is spreading around the country, but we are putting in measures to eradicate it," Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa was quoted in the Herald as saying.
Doctors have blamed outbreak to sewer and drainage service collapse and infrastructure which has been left to crumble for months with politicians deadlocked first over disputed elections.
Mr Parirenyatwa told state-run Herald newspaper on Thursday that the health authorities had set up a cholera ward at one of Harare's infectious diseases hospital where people suspected of having contracted a disease are screened and treated.
Health Ministry has advised Zimbabweans to boil water and maintain highest standards of hygiene by washing fruit, vegetables and other foods.
Mr Parirenyatwa also told state radio that main government hospitals faced severe shortages of medicines and supplies and spare parts for equipment used for routine examination and treatment of cholera.
ZADHR said repeated outbreaks of the disease indicates absence of capacity and ability of government to manage public health.
Zimbabwe's economy collapse with multi million percent inflation, has adversely affected what was once pride of sub-Saharan Africa.
Observers said health crisis is but one facet of a national disaster, which is claiming more and more lives from hunger-related diseases.
According to reports, water supplies to crowded townships that house most of the capital's poor have dried up, resulting in burst pipes and drains that send rivers of raw effluent running through the streets, filtering into unprotected wells that people are forced to dig for water.
Amnesty International said in a statement yesterday that deadlock would worsen an impending humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
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