By Michael Gwarisa
Minister of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) Dr Douglas Mombeshora has advised the City of Harare to move swiftly and ban the vending of food, fruits and vegetables on the streets and undesignated places, before the Cholera crisis gets out of hand.
His call also comes amidst indications that some vegetable growers in places where burst sewer pipes discharge raw sewage, were capitalising on the burst pipes crises to water their vegetables which they later sell to vendors around the city.
Speaking during a donation of Cholera management kits by CIMAS Medical Aid in Kuwadzana Surbab, Dr Mombeshora ordered city authorities to remove vendors from the streets.
We want to make sure that all these illegal street vendors are removed,” said Dr Mombeshora. “We have warned them and we have given this task to the City of Harare and we have told them that if they don’t take action, the government is coming in.”
The city authorities recently declared a Cholera state of emergency with authorities fearing the current outbreak has invoked memories of a deadly outbreak in 2008, in which thousands died.
“We have also asked the town council to go and clear all those illegal fields and gardens which are irrigating using raw sewage water. They are vegetables which are being sold and we understand some of these vegetables are finding their way into Mbare Musika. These include Lettuce, Cucumbers, and Muboora (Pumpkin leaves) among others.”
As at November 19, 2023, Zimbabwe recorded 55 new suspected cholera cases, (1) suspected death and (0) laboratory-confirmed results were reported today. The cases were reported from Harare (16), Chitungwiza City (12), Buhera (11), Mutare (9), Mberengwa (6) and Chikomba (1).
Forty-six districts have reported cases so far in the country to date and 103 cases are hospitalized at Chiredzi (2), Gutu (1) Bikita (2), Zaka (1), Chivi (8), Masvingo (1), in Masvingo Province, Buhera (15), Mutare Rural (25) Mutare City (1), Chipinge (4), in Manicaland Province and, BRIDH (34) in Harare Province , Mberengwa (6) in Midlands Province and Chikomba (1) in Mash East Province and Makonde (1) Chegutu (1) in Mash West Province.
Cumulative Tests done: 1 777 RDT done, 453 RDT positive (25.1 % positivity) and Culture 3 745 culture done, 1 292 culture positive (34.3 % positivity). 48 New recoveries were recorded with the National Recovery Rate standing at 96 % & cases in care 103.
Cumulatively, Zimbabwe has recorded 8 087 suspected cholera cases, 1 292 confirmed cases, 7 781 recoveries, 51 Confirmed deaths and 152 suspected deaths Case Fatality Rate (2.6%).