Zimbabwe: Cholera situation escalates - HELP intensifies aid projects

Bonn/Harare: Since August 2008 cholera ravages in Zimbabwe and the epidemic escalates more and more. According to figures of the World Health Organization 3.229 people have died, 63.000 cases have been reported. 1.700 cholera cases are added each day. And there is no end of the catastrophe in sight. Therefore, HELP has decided to intensify its aid projects furthermore. With the support of the German Foreign Ministry and the City of Munich HELP will equip 12 polyclinics in the district of Harare, that can treat 40,000 people per month, with hygienic articles like detergents, gloves and protective clothing. In addition, HELP will supply hygiene parcels to families that have been affected by cholera. In the previous weeks HELP had already sent 17 tons of medicines and infusions for the treatment of 7,000 patients from Germany to Zimbabwe.

Reasons for the strong spread of the epidemic and the high mortality rate are the overstrained health system, the ailing drinking water system and the extremely bad supply of food. Already before they fall sick, the cholera patients are often so weak and malnourished, that they die very fast of the disease.

For this reason, HELP does not only implement projects in acute cholera relief, but also works, in co-operation with other aid organizations, on a general improvement of the situation of the suffering population. In 2008 HELP supported 27.800 families with seeds, fertilizers and food. 450 wells in rural areas were built or rehabilitated, 12 primary schools were equipped with solar water pumps. HELP also supported primary health services all over the country.

Further information:

Berthold Engelmann, Press Officer
HELP from Germany
Fon: +49 228 915 29 29, Fax: +49 228 915 29 99
Mobil: +49 173 708 2553
engelmann@help-ev.de / www.help-ev.de