Zimbabwe: UNICEF takes urgent action as cholera outbreak claims more lives

Thursday 19th September - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has taken urgent action to avert further loss of life due to the cholera outbreak in Zaka and Bikita districts, Masvingo Province. Despite current efforts to combat cholera, more than 400 cases and 19 deaths have been reported in Masvingo province. The outbreak is attributed to poor water and sanitation coverage and hygienic practices.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in collaboration with UNICEF and Non-Governmental Organisations has taken urgent action to control the epidemic. UNICEF has provided Z$11, 200 000 to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to help control the spread of the epidemic. The funds will be used to bring in epidemiologists within the Ministry of Health and child Welfare to strengthen cholera control activities including awareness programmes. To improve access to safe water, UNICEF will provide five water bowsers and environmental disinfectants. "These efforts will go along way towards controlling the epidemic and ensuring that the epidemic does not spread to neighbouring districts" said Dr Festo Kavishe, the UNICEF Representative.

UNICEF has made an appeal for US$ 7.8 million emergency funding of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, prevention of HIV/AIDS, protection and education programmes for the worst affected children in Zimbabwe.

For Further Information Please contact
Dr. Festo Kavishe 00 263 4 703941/2 or
Ms Muriel Mafico 00 263 4 703941/2