China donates $500,000 to support Zimbabwe cholera fighting

China donated 500,000 U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe on Tuesday to boost the country's efforts to arrest cholera epidemic which has killed more than 1,000 people since the first outbreak in August.

Speaking at the donation ceremony at the Health Ministry office building in Harare, He Meng, Charge d'Affair of the Chinese Embassy in Harare, said as a long-term friend of Zimbabwe, China shares the concerns of international community over the current cholera situation, and sympathies with Zimbabwean people in their sufferings.

"At the moment, Zimbabwean people are eagerly waiting for assistance fighting against cholera, we sincerely hope and believe that the money would be made best use of under the coordination of the Zimbabwean government and UN agencies, so as to alleviate the epidemic situation and help Zimbabwean people to overcome challenges at an earlier date, " He said.

Zimbabwe's Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa said with the help of international organizations and countries friendly like China, the situation is now much better. He spoke highly of good relations between the two countries.

At least 1,000 people have died of cholera while nearly 24,000 cases have been reported in Zimbabwe since August this year. However, reports on Tuesday say the disease has been contained and cases are on the decline.

Zimbabwe's health sector got a major boost at the weekend when the country received 140 tons of medical supplies from the United Nations Children's Fund.

Since Zimbabwe declared cholera and the health system a national emergency, a number of donors and diplomats have come in with sizeable donations.

Over the weekend, Tanzania donated 40 tons of medical supplies to fight the cholera epidemic while SADC has launched an emergency request for medical aid.

Last week, the United Nations Population Fund donated five tonsof surgical sundries towards central hospitals' maternity services for a period of at least three months.

A fortnight ago, Namibia responded to Zimbabwean government's request for assistance with a donation of 200,000 dollars worth of drugs.

Two weeks earlier, South Africa had partnered the Zimbabweans government to contain the cholera outbreak in Beitbridge.

Other non-governmental organizations and UN agencies have also assisted through the provision of incentives for staff working in cholera treatment centers, logistics and experienced staff.

The assistance from the donor community is earmarked either for cholera or revival of the health sector.