The Zimbabwe cholera outbreak that began over a month ago continues to grow with 9,116 cases , including 54 deaths as of Friday.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Fortunately, the weekly case incidence has been on a downward trend in recent weeks.

Of the reported cases, 228 are confirmed by culture. Harare (8,824 cases) and Chitungwiza (109 cases) cities in Harare Province have reported the majority of the cases accounting for 98% of the cumulative cases reported across the country.

The first phase of a reactive mass oral cholera vaccination (OCV)campaign targeting 422,722 people in the most affected suburbs of Harare (Glen View, Budiriro, Glen Norah, and Mbare) commenced on 3 October 2018. At the end of phase I on11 October 2018, a total of 403,167 people (administrative coverage: 95.4%) were vaccinated across all four suburbs. Administrative coverage according to suburbs are as follow: Mbare (118%), Glen Norah (110%), Glenview (91%), and Budiriro (75%). A second phase of the vaccination campaign is expected to commence on 15 October targeting 170,000 people in Epworth and Seke districts and a third phase on 17 October 2018 targeting 200,000 people Chitungwiza district.

With the launch of the mass reactive vaccination campaign, it is anticipated that the outbreak will be brought under control. However, authorities will need to step up efforts to ensure that a high vaccination coverage is attained. While the OCV campaign may provide short-term remedy for controlling the outbreak, the risk factors are still present.