THE Health and Childcare Ministry has requested over 470 000 cholera vaccines to cover Chimanimani and Chipinge, the hardest hit areas in Zimbabwe by Cyclone Idai, HealthTimes has learnt.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The vaccination program is targeting areas positioned close to Mozambique where cholera cases have been reported.
In an interview, Health Ministry Epidemiology and Disease Control Director Dr Portia Manangazira said given closeness of Zimbabwe’s eastern neighbor to the affected areas of Chipinge and Chimanimani, they need 475 000 vaccines.
“So we have already requested about 475 000 vaccines to cover both Chipinge and Chimanimani. Everybody aged one year and above,” she said.
At one of the meetings with the Manicaland Provincial Medical Director, Dr Manangazira said she learnt that a clinic in Manicaland offered health services to about 90 percent of Mozambicans.
“But for us, we remain at very very high risk of cholera because us and Mozambique are the same people when we go down at community level.
“Often times they belong to the same village. I attended one of the meetings with the PMD and it was said one of the clinics, 90 percent of the people who visit it are Mozambicans than Zimbabweans. They are kind of close,” she said.
Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai with the aftermath coming in the form of cholera where over 1000 people have been affected with 139 cases identified. Dr Manangazira said Mozambique received vaccinations to cover 900 000 people on April 1.
“There is a big cholera outbreak in Mozambique. About 60 percent of Beira was destroyed that means water and sanitation facilities were gone. But yesterday they got vaccines to start vaccination of about 900 000 people,” she said.
She also said since the second cholera vaccination campaign has ended today in Harare, their attention will be much focused to preventing the looming cholera threat.
At the moment no cholera cases have been reported yet arising from Cyclone Idai.