Number of cholera deaths in Zimbabwe surpasses 4,000

Monday, March 9, 2009

According to a report released by the United Nations' World Health Organisation (WHO), over four thousand people have died from cholera in Zimbabwe, while 89,000 total cases of the disease have been reported. A spokeswoman for the WHO, however, said that the real death toll is higher due to under-reporting because of difficulty reaching certain areas of the country.

The cholera outbreak has been blamed on the collapse of the country's health infrastructure and water systems.

However, the WHO also said that the epidemic seemed to be slowing down. The number of cases a week have recently been averaging around 4,000 to 4,500 cases per week, down from an earlier peak of about eight thousand cases per week.

The epidemic has spread to neighbouring countries, with South Africa having reported 59 deaths and 12,324 cholera infections since November last year.