The Zimbabwe government has rolled out an oral cholera vaccine program that seeks to prevent 1.4 million people in 14 suburbs of the capital Harare from infection in the wake of the ongoing cholera outbreak.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

At least 49 people have been killed, especially in the capital Harare since the outbreak was confirmed a month ago. Over 6 500 suspected cases have been reported, with 96 laboratory confirmed infections of the Vibrio Cholerae.

The campaign is supported by a donation of 2.8 million doses of anti-cholera vaccines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Cholera Group (ICG). Until Sunday, the roll-out will cover all people aged 1 year and above.

At least 500,000 will receive the oral vaccine in the hardest hit suburbs of Glen View, Budiriro, Glen Norah and Mbare, while 900,000 will be covered in 12 other suburbs of Harare and its satellite town of Chitungwiza.

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Portia Manangazira told The Herald that to guarantee better immunity, there will be a second round of the public vaccination campaign before the end of the year.

Manangazira said the government is also expecting a delivery of typhoid vaccines from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI).