HEALTH and Child Care Ministry will in less than a fortnight receive the oral cholera vaccines they requested after their order was approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Health Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo told HealthTimes they expect the 475 000 OCV within two weeks.
“The world health organisation has okayed our order for oral cholera vaccine. They have given us at least 14 days before we start receiving them. So we are waiting for that order to arrive then we shall go out and vaccinate the population. We are going to concentrate mostly on the population in Chimanimani, and other Cyclone Idai hit areas,” he said.
With the second round of OCV reaching over 1 million people, the Minister said those who were left out will receive the doses.
“And then we also realise there are also some areas which still need to be given the second dose so shall be finalizing the second doses and then go into the new areas. The issue of cholera we need to be prepared of and we need to ensure that if it does happen, we are fully prepared,” Dr Moyo said.
He also hinted that much attention should be focused on preventing and controlling malaria in the areas.
“At the same the issue of malaria. Malaria is more imminent than cholera. Yes we have a rising number of diarrhoeral cases in the cyclone idai hit area but I think that what we should be doing now is to make sure that malaria is well controlled.
“We have all our teams on the ground making sure that malaria control is in place, there is spraying in the tents where people sleep, in the houses that managed to withstand the cyclone where the people are living. We want to make sure there is adequate spraying all over the whole area,” said Dr Moyo.
At the moment, there is an ongoing training for preventive cholera vaccination in Chimanimani and Chipinge for health workers.
In an interview last early this month, 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.