Friday, October 24, 2008

120 Cholera deaths in Zimbabwe

As if you didn't need any more proof about how bad it is in Zimbabwe right now.

80 percent of Zimbabwe's population lives below the poverty line. Inflation spirals up so quickly it causes many more to become poor every day.

Not only has the economy collapsed but also has public health. Last month, Save the Children reported that kids were eating rats to hold off starvation.

To top it all off, sanitation infrastructure has collapsed. 120 people have died of cholera in this past year.

South Africa's newspaper The Times fills in the details on how the disease is being spread.

"The government has grossly underestimated the impact that infrastructure breakdown is having on public health," the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said in a statement.

Over just the last two months, the waterborne disease has hit the capital Harare, as well as towns in the northern and western parts of the country, the group said.

"Water supply is irregular or completely absent in most urban areas, burst sewage pipes continue to be left unattended and there is a lack of refuse collection," the statement said.

"About 120 cholera-related deaths have been cumulatively recorded this year," it added.

Cholera is caused by intestinal bacteria that causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting leading to dehydration. With a short incubation period, it can be fatal. But the disease is easily prevented and can be cured if diagnosed promptly.

The doctors’ group urged the government to provide access to proper sanitation and clean running water to prevent the outbreak of disease.

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