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Zimbabwe Officials Trying to Fight Cholera Clash With Street Vendors

A cholera outbreak is the second since a 2008-09 epidemic claimed almost 5,000 lives.

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Zimbabwe, Cholera
Zimbabwe police was in streets of Harare on Sept. 16, 2018 removing vendors as part of efforts to fight cholera outbreak which has killed more than two dozen people over the past two weeks. VOA

Zimbabwe police Sunday clashed with vendors who were resisting being removed from streets as part of the country’s efforts to fight the cholera outbreak, which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the past two weeks.

Vendors were alerting each other of armed riot police and municipality officials coming to confiscate their wares Sunday in Harare. As soon as police officials left, the vendors would resume their business.

One of them is 34-year-old Maria Mange, a mother who three children who says unless she gets employed, she will remain selling vegetables and fruits in Harare’s CBD.

Zimbabwe, Cholera
Vendors in Harare say they not leave their business as they have no other sources of income with Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate said to be around 85 percent. VOA

“I am refusing to leave the streets on the basis that we cause the spread of cholera,” she said. “Our wares are cleaned or boiled before being consumed. It is dirty water which causes cholera, their failure to collect refuse, plus flowing sewage in the streets and blocked sewer pipes. Why concentrate on vendors and not criminals?”

Another vendor is Ronald Takura who says he has to find a way to make a livliehood.

“No, vendors are not causing the cholera. You are disturbing [our] search for money in our country,” he said. “I do not have a job and I do not have work to do. So do not send us out. I do not understand what is happening in this city. E.D. Mnangagwa, we supported, we do not see what he is doing for us.”

Zimbabwe, Cholera
Obediah Moyo Zimbabwe’s minister of health says there is no going back on vendors in streets, in Harare. VOA

He adds in Shona language, Zimbabweans voted for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30th elections, but he is not supporting the vendors.

But Zimbabwe’s minister of health, Obediah Moyo, says there is no going back.

“The issue of food vending is another issue, we all agreed that has to stop, especially in the area of epicenter [of the epidemic], that the police are helping us to stop the vending of food,” he said.

Zimbabwe, Cholera
In Zimbabwe trash can go for days or weeks without being collected which experts is one of the factors for spreading cholera outbreak in Harare. VOA

Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak has since spread to several parts of the country from its epicenter in Harare’s densely populated suburbs.

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International organizations such as UNICEF, WHO, and MSF have since moved in with assistance. But critics say the long-term solution is improving water supply, sanitation and regular waste collection by Zimbabwean authorities.

A cholera outbreak is the second since a 2008-09 epidemic claimed almost 5,000 lives. (VOA)

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Jump in Cholera Cases in Kenya’s Capital: Hospital

Cholera, which is spread by ingesting fecal matter, causes acute watery diarrhea and can kill within hours if not treated

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cholera, kenya
FILE - Medical practitioners attend to a cholera patient inside a special ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, July 19, 2017. VOA

The Kenyan capital has experienced a jump in cholera cases, one of the city’s top hospitals said on Tuesday, adding that eight of its own staff had been infected with the disease.

Cholera, which is spread by ingesting fecal matter, causes acute watery diarrhea and can kill within hours if not treated. “There is an upsurge of cholera cases in the county of Nairobi. We have had several cases admitted in our hospital.

Unfortunately we had eight staff affected,” The Nairobi Hospital, which is private, said in a statement. There were 23 cases of cholera admitted at the hospital, said Mohamed Dagane, the executive in charge of health services in the Nairobi county government.

cholera
“There is an upsurge of cholera cases in the county of Nairobi. We have had several cases admitted in our hospital. Pixabay

“There is no confirmed cholera fatality at the hospital,” he said in a statement, adding they were tracing all those who had come into contact with the patients to give them prevention treatment. “We have sufficient stock of medicine and rehydration fluid to cater for any patient.”

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The hospital, which has some of the most advanced facilities in the city, said it had put in “all precautionary measures. “There was no immediate comment from health ministry and local government officials.

At least four people were killed and dozens more treated when another outbreak of the disease hit the city in 2017, causing authorities to shut down some restaurants. (VOA)