Around 400 people have died due to Cholera in Zimbabwe while 10,000 fresh cases have been reported since the outbreak of the disease in the country in August, the United Nations has said.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 500 new cases and 23 additional deaths have been reported since Wednesday with the maximum increase in cases at Budiriro and Beitbridge in the country's south.
The OCHA noted that more health professionals are needed to respond, given the scale of the outbreak and that poor hygiene awareness and lack of solid waste removal are propelling the increase in cholera infections.
Cases of the illness, an acute intestinal infection caused by contaminated food or water, have also been reported in neighbouring Botswana and South Africa and the health ministries in the two countries along with that of Zimbabwe have been working with the UN World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the spread.
The WHO and its partners are responding to cases and supporting treatment centres in 26 districts and has airlifted emergency supplies from its Dubai warehouse.
The agency has identified several areas where there are gaps, including detection, response organisation and surveillance. It is also planning to dispatch a team, comprising epidemiologists and water and sanitation specialists, among others, to respond to the outbreak.
For its part, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has over 50 staff dedicated solely to tackling Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak and has asked for USD nine million as part of the UN consolidated appeal to address water and sanitation issues.