x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Cholera toll passes 1,000

The cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe shows no sign of abating as the UN announces the death toll has passed 1,000.

The death toll from cholera in Zimbabwe has passed 1,000 and the epidemic is continuing to spread, the United Nations said today. The latest figures from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 1,111 deaths and 20,581 suspected cases. "The devastating cholera epidemic continues to spread, with a new outbreak in Chegutu Urban, recording more than 378 suspected cases and 121 deaths," said an OCHA statement. Chegutu is a region neighbouring the capital Harare.

Harare remained the worst-hit area, with 224 people killed by the disease and 9,072 thought to be suffering from it. Almost three-quarters of the cases in the capital came from the last two weeks, added OCHA, underlining the "intense" cholera transmission rate in the city. Citing the World Health Organization's assessment of the situation, the OCHA said the major causes for the outbreak included the lack of drinking water and sanitation. A health staff strike was also not helping, said OCHA.