Cholera outbreak claims 3 lives-(22-02-07)

HARARE - Health authorities in Harare said on Monday that a cholera outbreak in slums where victims of the brutal army-led Operation Murambatsvina are still huddled, had infected eight people, killing three.
The outbreak started in Epworth, a dirt-poor slum on the outskirts of Harare where more t

han 20,000 homeless people were dumped by government without access to water, healthcare and exposed to the elements.
By Monday, three out of the eight people, including a 75-year-old granny, who were reportedly infected, had died. Two other people died at Porta Farm, a transit camp where helpless victims of the brutal army-led operation were sheltered in makeshift tents, after being promised to be the first beneficiaries of the farcical Operation Garikai. Nothing has come of the government promises and the desperate residents remain cramped in the filthy settlement, where basic health care is virtually non-existent. A fortnight ago state television footage showed raw sewerage flowing into people’s homes.
The authorities have sent a medical team to the two slums to help the population and limit the propagation of the epidemic. They have also urged people to adopt hygienic measures such as washing their hands with soap.
Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the situation was under control.
Cholera is a bacterial disease that is spread by poor sanitation and polluted drinking water. It is a perennial hazard during the rainy season in much of Zimbabwe as latrines overflow and wells become polluted. Just last month Harare had more than 10 cases of cholera, according to official statistics released by the government. However, the disease was said to be subsiding here.

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