Home » Health Services » Declare Cholera National Disaster, Says Opposition

THE government must declare the intermittent recurrence of tropical diseases such as the deadly cholera outbreaks a national disaster, the opposition he MDC-Renewal Team said Tuesday.

In a statement which followed reports of the growing spread of cholera in the country, the group said it was concerned with the outbreaks and urged government to act with haste.

“The increase in the cholera outbreak cases is an indication that the government of the day is ill-prepared to contain the situation.

“(This raises) g fears among the people of a repeat of the 2008 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe which killed thousands of people while 20,000 were affected and treated as most health institutions lacked basic drugs,” the statement said.

According to the opposition formation, the increase of cholera cases and “other ills facing the country can all be traced to the same root cause, which is the economic collapse, misguided policies and the mis-governance by Zanu PF”.

“It is an indication that the government of the day is not putting the people first and prefers to hold a $1 million birthday bash for a 91 year-old President (Robert Mugabe) when thousands of people are failing to get access to health facilities and treatment.

“Furthermore, the lack of sound and focused leadership in local councils such as the Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza local councils is a cause for concern (about these councils’) and the government preparedness to monitor and curb a serious outbreak,” the statement added.

The Renewal group has in the past called on MDC-T Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to resign.

In the Tuesday statement, the party said evidence abounds that the Harare City Council has failed in providing safe and reliable water (supplies) while uncollected garbage and burst sewers are the order of the day, (leaving) the health of residents at a serious risk.

“As the MDC Renewal Team our recommendations and the solution to the current cholera outbreak is that an emergency health response unit comprising the government, local councils and other key organisations needs to be put in place in every district in the country,” the group said.

“Alternatively, the entire health system, water system and sanitation can be put in the hands of international bodies such as the UN because the Zimbabwe government and local council are failing to cope.”

Zimbabwe has in the last few years suffered the ignominy of watching as long forgotten diseases resurface due to dilapidated infrastructure.

About 4,000 people died in 2008 after the outbreak of a devastating cholera outbreak that government failed to contain.

Source : New Zimbabwe