Zimbabwe cholera death toll reaches 1,111: UN | world | Hindustan Times
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Zimbabwe cholera death toll reaches 1,111: UN

world Updated: Dec 18, 2008 21:12 IST

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The cholera death toll in Zimbabwe has risen above 1,000, the United Nations said on Thursday. A total of 1,111 deaths were recorded by Wednesday, an increase of 133 in two days, the UN humanitarian office in Geneva said.

The latest figures, which are compiled by the World Health Organisation, also show that the number of cases has risen to 20,581 since the start of the cholera outbreak in August.

On Monday, health officials had spoken of 18,413 cases and 978 deaths.

The UN agency says lack of clean drinking water and sanitation continues to be a problem, as well as the southern African country's crumbling health service and a strike by nurses.

Health staff are "unable to obtain salaries from the bank due to the shortage of bank notes, making it too burdensome and expensive to travel to work," WHO said. High inflation has forced Zimbabwe to keep issuing higher denomination currency, which has lead to long lines outside banks.

The outbreak of cholera, which spreads through contaminated water, has hit Zimbabwe's capital Harare hardest, the agency said.

It warned that supplies of intravenous fluids, used to treat the disease, could run out early next year unless new stocks are brought in.