Christian Aid gives emergency funds for Zimbabwe cholera outbreak

By agency reporter
January 9, 2009

Christian Aid has released £50,000 to its partner, Zimbabwe Project Trust.

The partner, known as ZimPro, aims to reduce the vulnerability of 15,000 urban poor in Harare to the cholera outbreak through the promotion of public health education, and water and sanitation activities.

"Around thirty people are dying every die from cholera in Zimbabwe," says William Anderson, Christian Aid’s country manager in Harare.

"Although this is quite a small number compared to the HIV mortality rate there is still a higher than acceptable fatality rate of cholera victims."

In addition to public health and hygiene promotion sessions Zimpro will distribute non-food items. These will include soap, cotton wool and disinfectants; they will be distributed for the next three months coinciding with the most intense period of the rainy season when cholera cases are expected to peak.

The coming months will also see deepening levels of food insecurity. Partner organisations say there will be severe food shortages and the UN estimates more than five million will require food aid through to March.

All Christian Aid partners are responding to the cholera outbreak either through their own initiatives or through the UN system. They are distributing water purification tablets and conducting hygiene campaigns.

"With proper treatment less than one per cent of cases should die. At present it is officially five per cent. In an increasingly failed state, the lack of health care is devastating an already exhausted and frail population. That is why this project is so vital," said Mr Anderson.

Keywords:zimbabwe | cholera
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