Cholera outbreak hits Harare


EDITOR —HARARE CITY Health Director Prosper Chonzi has confirmed a cholera outbreak in the capital, with 21 suspected cases recorded. 

And rightly, residents should be on high alert lest we have a pandemic on our hands. Cholera, if we are not careful, can spread rapidly. Cholera outbreaks have been noted regionally and Zimbabwe has so far recorded 588 cases.

We now have 21 suspected cases and seven confirmed cases which are mainly coming from the western suburbs; Budiriro reportedly has four of the confirmed cases, Glenview 3 has two while one is from Mt Pleasant Heights.

What this means is we should take this outbreak seriously because it has the potential to spread like a veld fire, so we need to be on high alert even in places with no reported cases. Cholera is a preventable disease; it is important to practise good hygiene and sanitation as prevention is better than cure.

Matabeleland South and Manicaland Provinces continue to contribute the highest number of suspected cases to date, with 195 cases (33,2 percent) and 161 cases (27,4 percent), respectively.

In light of the continued increase in cholera cases, a multi-sectoral approach in responding to the cholera outbreak has to be enhanced with more focus on addressing water and sanitation needs in affected areas.

Cholera is caused by germs taken into the body orally. The germs can be in water, in cooked cold food or in fruits or vegetables.  The germs are bound in dirty surroundings, such as broken down sewage systems and uncollected rubbish dumps like those now found in the country’s high density suburbs.

Some of the boreholes/wells have been contaminated by human faecal matter and bacteria-laden refuse fluids through seepage. 

Taking into consideration the seriousness of the current cholera outbreak, we should all be vaccinated against  cholera forthwith, starting with schoolchildren.

We are happy that authorities are acting swiftly. Together we can beat cholera — it is preventable, avoidable and can be treated if reported early and remember that prevention is better than cure. Let us prevent the recurrence of 2008 and 2009 which saw the loss of many lives. To combat cholera, hygiene is of paramount importance. 

People are expected to:

λ wash hands after using the toilet always ( clean water)

λ wash fruits and vegetables before eating them using clean water

λ eat food while it’s still hot

λ drink clean water

Benhilda Chademana,



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here