The cholera epidemic has not been brought under control as the number of cases continues to escalate. Although there are about 250 cholera treatment centers (CTC) operating across the country to provide care and medical treatment to those affected, the cumulative number of cases has now reached 64,701 with 3,295 deaths. The major challenges are the lack of health, water and sanitation facilities, inadequate food and necessity supplies, and hygiene promotion, especially in the rural areas.
Red Cross/ Red Crescent Action
Seven Emergency Response Units (ERUs) have been deployed to Zimbabwe, working with local government and partners, to provide medical care and assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and to promote hygiene practice.
As of 30 January, a total of 202,210 water purifying sachets had been distributed through the joint efforts of the International Red Cross and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS).
With the support of the International Red Cross, a total of 408 trained ZRCS volunteers have reached 29,102 households with health and hygiene education and 19,416 households with hygiene kits.
ZRCS volunteers are also continuing with door-to-door education campaigns including distribution of information and education materials such as t-shirts, pamphlets, posters and fliers. To date, 581,214 people have been reached.
Improved drainage systems, latrines and temporary mortuaries are constructed in some CTCs to provide better sanitation.
Over 68 clinics and hospitals country-wide have benefited from the cholera kits, oral rehydration solutions and drugs distributed by International Red Cross.
Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) Action
Two volunteer nurses of the HKRC joined the Norwegian and Japanese Red Cross Basic Health Care ERUs respectively and arrived in Zimbabwe in early February 2009. They are now assisting and monitoring the work of local ZRCS volunteers and healthcare workers in the rural clinics in Midlands province and Mashonaland West province respectively. No appeal has been launched for this operation in Hong Kong at the moment. For more information on the HKRC volunteer deployment and the diaries of the HKRC volunteer nurses from Zimbabwe, please click visit International Volunteer Mission.
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