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Minister Allays Cholera Outbreak Fears In Chimanimani

Mozambique has reported five new cholera cases with other 139 reported cases pending following the devastating Cyclone Idai. The development has posed a health threat to the neighbouring Manicaland province, raising fears of another disaster.

The number of confirmed cholera cases in cyclone-ravaged Mozambique climbed sharply to 139 by Thursday as authorities prepared to roll out a mass vaccination campaign to stem the spread of the deadly disease.

In Mozambique, authorities are struggling to provide clean water and sanitation to the city of 500,000 after the March 14 storm.

Doctors without Borders in Mozambique confirmed that the citizens have resorted to drinking stagnant roadside water or water from contaminated wells.

The same fate might also hit Chimanimani which is experiencing the same effects of Cyclone Idai.

Cholera is a  waterborne disease that causes acute diarrhea and can kill in hours if left untreated. It thrives in conditions of poor hygiene and is spread by contaminated food and water.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people died in the storm and ensuing floods, but the World Health Organization has warned of an impending “second disaster” caused by diseases. It said 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine would arrive in the next week.

Malaria and typhoid also pose a major risk to survivors of the storm, as well as food shortages. Vast swaths of farmland have been swamped in Manicaland.

In a side interview at the official launch of the National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services in the capital today, Minister of Health and Child Care Obadiah Moyo said they have the situation under control in Manicaland.

“We are prepared for any outbreak that might want to settle along our borders. We have made sure they have enough kits for testing, enough kits for vaccines. We are  also carrying out awareness campaigns for them to know what we are dealing with. We have also provided them with Aqua tabs for water purification. We continuously urge our people to wash hands and continue boiling their drinking water,” said Dr Moyo.

“The victims of cyclone Idai are in need of psychological counselling because they are still thinking about what happened, what they lost and now they have to look out for waterborne diseases. It will be confusing to them,” said the Minister.

“It has to been done in a manner that they have to be calm and manage that suicide tendency,” the Minister added.



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