Cholera emergency in Zimbabwe’s capital

Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, has been declared in a state of emergency due to a resurgence of cholera, which has already claimed 51 lives, infected over 7,000 people in the country, and continues to spread, its mayor announced at the last week-end.
Ian Makone called the “current situation alarming”, given the number of confirmed cases in most of the capital’s neighborhoods, acknowledging that the main cause is the lack of drinking water. “We have declared a state of emergency because the situation is now very serious. The disease is spreading throughout the city”, he explained. To date, twelve deaths have been officially recorded in Harare.
More than 7,000 suspected cholera cases and almost 150 possibly related deaths, including 51 confirmed by laboratory tests, have so far been recorded by the authorities in the landlocked southern African country. The authorities are on high alert, fearing a hecatomb like in 2008, when cholera claimed thousands of lives.
According to a Ministry of Health report published on Thursday evening, 157 people are currently hospitalized in the country, including 16 in Harare. And the epidemic has spread to more than 17 of the country’s traditional cholera districts. Cholera, an acute diarrheal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria, is on the rise on the continent, according to the World Health Organization.