At least 68 new cases of cholera have been reported in Zimbabwe during the first five days of November, with Chitungwiza, a dormitory town to the south of the country’s capital Harare, becoming one of the recent cholera hotspots.
Although Chitungwiza is part of the Harare Metropolitan Province, the Ministry of Health and Child Care recently began issuing separate figures for the town, which has more than 371,000 residents.
The figures for the first five days of November show that the town recorded 28 confirmed cases out of 137 suspected cases, while Harare had nine confirmed cases out of 51 suspected cases. Eight of the confirmed cases in Harare were reported on Sunday.
Similar to Harare, Chitungwiza faces potable water shortages and also experiences sewage pipe blockages, often resulting in groundwater contamination.
As of Sunday, Zimbabwe has recorded 6,486 suspected cholera cases, 1,127 confirmed cases, 44 confirmed cholera deaths, and 137 suspected cholera deaths.
Manicaland Province in eastern Zimbabwe remains the most affected, with 694 confirmed cases, 23 confirmed deaths, and 73 suspected cholera deaths.
In terms of confirmed cases, Harare comes second with 144, followed by the southwestern province of Matabeleland South with 133.
The government recently assured citizens and delegates attending the 22nd International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections held in the resort city of Victoria Falls that the situation was under control, and they had implemented measures to protect them.
These measures include the supervision of all funerals and public gatherings, especially in areas that are reporting cholera cases.
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Jenfan Muswere said during a recent media briefing that poor sanitation and inadequate provision of safe water had contributed to the latest outbreak.