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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: October 21 2008 »

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

NEWS
20 October 2008
Posted to the web 20 October 2008
Harare

A cholera outbreak that has bridged Zimbabwe's dry season is proving difficult to contain and has spread from the cities to rural areas.

There are fears that the onset of the rainy season could make the waterborne disease endemic if the authorities fail to address the water and sanitation crisis plaguing the county.

Cholera is an intestinal infection causing acute diarrhoea and vomiting and, if left untreated, can cause death from dehydration within 24 hours. It is easily treatable with rehydration salts.

An anthrax outbreak has also been reported in Hurungwe, a rural area in Mashonaland West Province, about 300km north of the capital, Harare, "where 10 cases have been reported, but no deaths as yet. WHO [World Health Organisation] is still investigating", the UN said in a recent situation report on cholera and anthrax.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, and mostly affects wild animals and domesticated cattle, although it can be transferred to humans through inhalation of the bacteria's spores from a live or infected dead animal, blood contact if the skin is broken, or by eating the undercooked meat of a diseased animal. Anthrax is curable if diagnosed early.

120 deaths

The UN noted that "a cholera outbreak has been a cause of concern in Zimbabwe since February 2008 ... so far 120 deaths have been recorded cumulatively, with the highest percentage found in Mashonaland Central" Province in the country's north.

The collapse of health and municipal services is seen as the cause for the spread of the disease, with local authorities failing to provide potable water, rubbish collection and adequate sanitation, forcing people to dig shallow wells to obtain household and drinking water in areas where sewerage spills into streets because of poor, or non-existent, maintenance regimes.

The state-owned Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has pumped raw sewerage into Lake Chivero, one of the reservoirs providing Harare with water; residents with access to piped water often have to contend with a smelly greenish discharge from their taps.

The UN noted in its report that Zimbabwe was battling three cholera outbreaks in different locations. Chitungwiza, a dormitory town 35km southeast of Harare, had recorded 144 cholera cases and 15 deaths up to 13 October. UNICEF has been trucking in 30,000 litres of water daily and providing hygiene education.

In Mola, in the western district of Kariba, there were 22 cases with one fatality as of 7 October, and "probably more cases within the community, unrecognised", the UN report said.

Chinhoyi, in Mashonaland West Province, had recorded 6 deaths by 13 October, and WHO reported another 15 cases the following day, but "many more are assumed to be in the community, and paediatric cases are being admitted to the hospital."

Recurring disease

A cholera outbreak on 31 August in Harare affected the townships of Mbare, Kuwadzana, Highfields, Chikurubi and Mbvuku, in which 19 cases and one death were recorded. The last case was reported on 24 September.

Nevertheless, even where the cholera outbreaks have been brought under control, the UN report warns: "These locations remain potentially risk areas, considering cholera [is a] recurring trend."

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) said in a statement that Zimbabwe's political deadlock between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change was having a direct impact on the provision of services.

"The water woes that have seen many Harare residents losing their lives to cholera outbreaks are a result of the ruthless decision to hand over the administration of water and sewer services to ZINWA," the statement said.

"CHRA urges the powers that be to stop burying their heads in the sand and attend to the governance stalemate as a matter of urgency."

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Copyright © 2008 UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: February 05 2009 »

Simbabwe: Ausmaß der Choleraepidemie in Simbabwe übertrifft Worst-Case-Szenario

02.02.2009

Am vergangenen Donnerstag überschritt die Choleraepidemie in Simbabwe das von der WHO prognostizierte Worst-Case-Szenario von 60.000 Verdachtsfällen. Die kommende Woche wird die Schlimmste seit Beginn des Ausbruchs – als dritte Woche in Folge. "Zum ersten Mal erwarten wir mehr als Zehntausend neue Fälle innerhalb einer Woche", berichtet ein Notfall-Koordinator von Ärzte ohne Grenzen aus Simbabwe.

Alleine in Kadoma City wurden in der Woche vom 19. Jänner 1.752 neue Cholerafälle bekannt, mehr als drei Mal so viele als bei der letzten Spitze. Für 14 Erkrankte kam in der 98.000 Einwohner Stadt jede Hilfe zu spät. Ein Team von 12 internationalen und 30 lokalen Mitarbeitern von Ärzte ohne Grenzen leistete medizinische Hilfe, half, die Kapazitäten des städtischen Cholerabehandlungszentrums auszubauen, Wasser- und Abwassersysteme zu verbessern und Maßnahmen zur Verhinderung der Ausbreitung der Cholera-Bakterien zu setzen.

Nachdem die Zahl an Patienten die Kapazitäten des vorhandenen Cholerabehandlungszentrums überschritt, wurde nach Möglichkeiten zur Erweitung des Behandlungsangebots gesucht. Nach umfassenden Evaluierungen wurde ein Fußballfeld als beste Alternative für die Errichtung eines weiteren Behandlungszentrums mit 250 Betten, einem 30.000 Liter Tank, 20 Latrinen und einem Stromgenerator ausgewählt. Der Aufbau erfolgte in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem spanischen Roten Kreuz und der Deutschen Welthungerhilfe.

Aufgrund anhaltender Wasser- und Abwasserprobleme gilt Kadoma als besonders anfällig für Cholera. Der plötzliche Anstieg an Cholerafällen deutet auf eine verseuchte Wasserquelle hin. Ein Team von Ärzte ohne Grenzen bleibt in Kadoma um die Hilfe in Kadoma City, dem umliegenden Distrikt, sowie in Chegutu fortzusetzen und die Situation in Kwekwe weiter zu beobachten.

Kein Ende in Sicht

Auch in den ländlichen Gebieten zeichnet sich kein Ende der Epidemie ab. In Teilen der Provinz Masvingo steigt die Zahl der Fälle weiter an, in anderen Teilen gehen die Zahlen zurück. Neue Fälle tauchen zunehmend auch im Süden des Landes, im Distrikt Chiredzi, auf. MSF-Teams machen sich weiterhin auf die Suche nach neuen Cholerafällen und bauen wo notwendig Behandlungszentren auf. Zu den größten Herausforderungen zählt die Rekrutierung von lokalem Personal für die Behandlungszentren, da in Simbabwe ein Mangel an Krankenschwestern- und Pflegern herrscht. Ärzte ohne Grenzen tut das Möglichste, dabei zu Helfen, die Lücke bei Gesundheitspersonal zu schließen.

Aufgrund der Schwierigkeiten, abgelegene Dörfer zu erreichen, sowie der Distanz zwischen den Krankenhäusern, wird derzeit eine neue Strategie umgesetzt. Ärzte ohne Grenzen bildet ausgewählte Dorfbewohner aus, Trinklösungen an Erkrankte auszugeben und darüber Buch zu führen. Außerdem werden zur Vorbeugung Chlor-Tabletten verteilt.

Vergangene Woche wurde in Gebieten, die einen Anstieg an Neuerkrankungen verzeichneten, Informationskampagnen durchgeführt. Informationsmaterial (Zeichnungen und Poster) wurde an alle Behandlungseinrichtungen, die das MSF-Team besuchte, ausgegeben. Durch verschiedene Aktivitäten wie Fokusgruppentreffen und Diskussionsrunden über Hygienemaßnahmen werden lokale Gemeinschaften aktiv in den Kampf gegen die Cholera eingebunden.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #2 on: October 15 2009 »

Global Handwashing Day in Zimbabwe

Harare, October 15, 2009: On the second annual Global Handwashing Day, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is highlighting this simple hygiene habit – washing hands with any soap as a way to reduce disease in Zimbabwe.

During an Oct. 15 program, USAID partners Population Services International (PSI) and Children First, along with the Ministry of Health and other stake holders, will be celebrating Global Handwashing Day at the Mabvuku 1 Primary School in Mabvuku, Harare with hand washing demonstrations, a hand washing drama, and a donation of buckets and soap to schools and clinics in Mabvuku Tafara.

“Handwashing really matters," commented Patience Ndlovu, Children First Head of Programs. “Global efforts have helped to reduce annual worldwide mortality in under-5-year-olds from nearly 13 million in 1990 to 9.2 million in 2008.” She emphasized that “Here in Harare we can decrease the incidence of serious diseases like cholera, pneumonia, and diarrhea by teaching school children to use soap and water at critical times such as before eating and after using the toilet.”

USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) collaborates intensively with UNICEF and numerous non-governmental organizations on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities in Zimbabwe.  In FY 2009, USAID/OFDA committed more than $8.6 million for WASH programming throughout Zimbabwe to improve community resilience to cholera and other waterborne diseases.

As part of this effort, USAID/OFDA committed over $360,000 for 400 metric tons of soap for use in hygiene promotion programs and supported the distribution of 30 million water purification tablets.

USAID has also developed a “Healthy Water, Healthy Habits, Healthy People” educators guide on water, health, sanitation, and disease prevention for nationwide distribution in Zimbabwe. The guide, prepared by Project Wet, provides teaching materials on water resources through hands-on, investigative, easy-to-use activities such as songs, role playing, and group activities.

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea kills almost 2 million children globally each year. Studies have shown that washing one’s hands with soap could reduce worldwide rates of diarrhea by almost half and save at least one million lives – saving more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.

Proper handwashing and safe waste disposal are very closely related with increased health and productivity.  Lack of access to sanitation is especially difficult for children who pay the price in lost lives, missed schooling, disease, and malnutrition.  Worldwide, inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene, and unsafe water claim the lives of an estimated 1.6 million children under the age of five every year.

The challenge is to transform handwashing with soap from an abstract idea into an automatic behavior in homes, schools and communities worldwide.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.  For more information about USAID's efforts to fight cholera and waterborne diseases in Zimbabwe, please go to:  www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance.
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ZILUNDU
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« Reply #3 on: October 19 2009 »

MWAPONA

AM FROM BINGA AND HAVE OBSERVED LITTLE TO NO CHANGE ON THE ISSUE OF HANDWASHING PATTERNS ( KA DISH KAKUSAMBILA MABOKO), LACK OF PROPER SANITATION (NO TOILETS IN MOST HOMESTEADS-AALINDISWE AAMUUNZI) SO ARE WE EXPECTING MIRACLES ON THE CHOLERA ISSUE. WE MUST PLAY OUR PART!!!

AREAS LIKE MOLA HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO BE FREQUENTLY AFFECTED BY CHOLERA IN THE PAST HENCE THE CHOICE OF THE WORD "ENDEMIC". PUBLIC HEALTH OR ENVIRONMENT HEALTH PERSONNEL MUST DO SOMETHING. THERE IS NO MORE POLITICAL LOUD MOUTHS ANYMORE, BALLOKULYAAMWI HENCE THE RISK OF PSUEDO EXTINCTION COMRADES

I WILL BARK AGAIN NEXT TIME

FROM THE TRENCHES
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