Zimbabwe: South Africa helps fighting cholera


As Zimbabwe is facing cholera, even nearby countries are engaged against this disease. One of these is South Africa. In a press release of its embassy in Italy, the country of Nelson Mandela recently took different steps to fight cholera.

As a member of the South African Development Community (SADC), South Africa “is concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe and is  working together with all authorities to ensure a safe environment for all, addressing this  outbreak of Cholera in Zimbabwe and its consequences for that country and the entire region”, as written in a press release of South African embassy in Italy.

These are the steps taken by the South Africa government:

  • A multi-sectoral Committee consisting of representatives of  the South African Ministries  of Health, Water Affairs and Forestry, Local Government, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS), and international organisations,  the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Save the Children (UK) was convened.
  • A comprehensive strategy has been put into place and the implementation thereof is monitored by the National Outbreak Response Team (NORT) on a weekly basis.
  • The Joint Operations Committee from the Health Sector meets twice daily to update NORT and processes are underway to establish Joint Operation Committees (JOCs) in all provinces of the Republic of South Africa.
  • South African National and Provincial Outbreak Response Teams were deployed in Musina on 17 November 2008 to respond to the outbreak.  It  has set up a free medical centre in the South African border town, Musina, of the province of Limpopo,  offering Zimbabweans suffering from Cholera early and urgent medical attention as they cross the border through the official crossing at Beit Bridge.   Preventative and treatment supplies and health practitioners were  sourced and are deployed at the treatment centre.
  • The South African Ministry  of Health is currently increasing the capacity of health care workers, including doctors, to deal with the large volume of patients in Limpopo

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