Cholera cases in Zimbabwe pass 80,000 | world | Hindustan Times
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Cholera cases in Zimbabwe pass 80,000

The raging cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe shows no signs of abating with the UN health agency reporting that the death toll has mounted to 3,800 with more than 80,000 infected.

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 15:13 IST

The raging cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe shows no signs of abating with the UN health agency reporting that the death toll has mounted to 3,800 with more than 80,000 infected.

Some 3,760 people have now died from cholera since the outbreak first hit the besieged southern African country in August last year, with all 10 of Zimbabwe's provinces having been affected by the water-borne disease, which has spilled over to neighbouring countries, World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The WHO reported that South Africa has been able to limit the number of fatalities to below one per cent of people infected by the deadly disease, compared to four per cent in Zimbabwe last December and between one and two per cent in recent weeks.

A high number of cholera cases have also been reported in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, all countries where the disease is endemic. There are 365 cholera treatment centres operating in Zimbabwe and WHO has set up a Cholera Command and Control Centre in the capital, Harare.

WHO warned that containing the rate of infection remains a significant challenge given the country's dilapidated water and sanitation infrastructure and a weak health system and its priorities now include decentralising the emergency response and strengthening social mobilisation to improve access to health services and earlier treatment.