Cholera: ‘Outrage’ as Zambia forces Zimbabweans to go through ‘inhuman’ screening process

Zimbabwean authorities have reportedly expressed outrage over the cholera screening process introduced by Zambian authorities at Chirundu border post, which involves making people take laxatives.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Zimbabweans traveling by bus were forced to take laxatives by Zambian officials wanting stool samples to test for cholera.

Zambia’s testing method caused congestion at the Zimbabwe–Zambia border post.

Zimbabweans described the screening process as “inhuman”, the report said.

Mashonaland west provincial medical director Dr Wenceslaus Nyamaro confirmed receiving similar reports, adding that they had taken the issue up with Zambian authorities.

“The issue of people being given tablets to trigger bowel movement is a bit disturbing because we know that we cannot control cholera by shutting down the border, but to encourage hygiene among our people,” Nyamaro was quoted as saying.

A report by Xinhua said that Zambian authorities were concerned over the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, saying the outbreak could spill over.

Local government minister, Vincent Mwale, said the cholera outbreak in the neighbouring country was a source of concern because of the shared border.

“It is about cleanliness and how we take care of our environment. It is possible that we can have cholera. Things that need to be done are very clear to us,” Mwale was quoted as saying.

He said there were no cholera cases in the southern African country.

An AFP report said, the cholera outbreak, first detected in a township outside the capital Harare earlier this month, prompted the government to declare an emergency in the city after at least 3 000 cases were reported.

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