Zimbabwe cholera deaths rise to 25

FILE Mthuli Ncube at the World Economic Forum Meeting on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in May 2013

Zimbabwe's opposition MDC postpones mock inauguration following cholera outbreak

World Health Organization said it is assisting the Government to track down cases and is providing cholera kits to treatment centres in Harare.

Authorities have banned public gatherings Harare while health ministry personnel are supervising burials of victims.

Early this week, police announced a blanket ban on all public gatherings in the capital, including funeral processions as well as church meetings, as part of efforts by authorities to deal with the killer waterborne disease ravaging the capital and threatening to spread across the country. The government had warned Movement for Democratic Change Alliance's Nelson Chamisa against the event which was tagged unconstitutional.

The disease has since spread to other towns as well as rural areas across the country as the cash-strapped government.

On Friday the country's finance minister took to Twitter to ask for donations to help the government fight the cholera outbreak.

"It is alarming and quite unusual for such a medieval and preventable disease to continue to claim such valuable lives in this day and age", said the Civil Society Health Emergency Response Coordinating Committee in a statement.

"There is also a lot of movement of people between Harare and rural areas, and we are very anxious that this could drive a very rapid spread of the disease", said Zimbabwe Red Cross Secretary-General Maxwell Phiri.

"There is resistance to the first-line medicine, relevant medicines should be purchased as a matter of urgency as soon as resistance patterns have been ascertained", the situation report from WHO and the health ministry recommended.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe, has pledged to tackle the current outbreak.UNICEF advised Zimbabweans to prevent cholera from spreading by regular hand-washing, drinking only safe water, washing food, cooking it thoroughly and avoiding shaking hands.

Amnesty International said the country's most recent outbreak of cholera was a outcome of its "failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its healthcare system".

The International Red Cross in Zimbabwe on the other hand also added that it has deployed more than 1,000 volunteers to contain the outbreak.

A total of 4 000 people died and at least 100 000 people fell ill.

The University of Zimbabwe yesterday postponed this year's graduation, which was set for today.

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