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In Zimbabwe, MSF Responding to Cholera Outbreak
December 4, 2008
Zimbabwe 2008 © Joanna Stavropoulou/MSF
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating cholera in Zimbabwe since the latest outbreak started in August, and will continue to care for patients throughout the country as long as is needed.
The outbreak has reached many provinces of the country and is greatest in the capital, Harare, and its suburbs, where MSF has set up two cholera treatment centers at the Infectious Disease Hospital and at Budiriro Polyclinic. To date, MSF has treated about 4,000 patients in Harare and 1,300 in the Mudzi district at the border with Mozambique.
The patient numbers are still at a high level but have more or less stabilized at a total average of about 350 admissions per day in Harare. The situation in Breitbridge, a town close to the border with South Africa where more than 3,000 cases have been seen since mid-November, is now improving, with the number of cases decreasing*. MSF is also covering the rural areas south of Harare, and Masvingo and Manicaland provinces where scattered cases of cholera have been found in several villages.
We are working alongside the Ministry of Health as much as possible and helping to train health workers to treat patients and to control future outbreaks. MSF has emergency staff on the ground in the most affected areas and has been sending vital supplies to these areas. MSF will continue to investigate reports of new cases and will work to contain the outbreak in the most deeply affected areas as long as necessary.
* MSF has no reliable data on the total number of people infected across the country.