MSF responds to Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak
4 December 2008
MSF has been treating cholera in Zimbabwe since the outbreak started in August and will continue to care for patients throughout the country as long as is needed. The outbreak has reached many provinces of the country but is at its highest levels in Harare and its suburbs, where MSF has set up two cholera treatment centres at the Infectious Disease Hospital and at Budiriro Polyclinic. To date, we have treated about 4,000 patients in Harare and 1,300 in the Mudzi district at the border with Mozambique. The patient numbers are stil high but have more or less stabilized at a total average of about 350 admissions per day in Harare. The situation in Breitbridge, a town close to the border with South Africa where more than 3,000 cases have been seen since mid-November is now improving, with the number of cases decreasing*. MSF is also covering the rural areas south of Harare, and Masvingo and Manicaland provinces, where scattered cases of cholera have been found in several villages. MSF teams are working alongside the Ministry of Health as much as possible and helping to train health workers to treat patients and to control future outbreaks. MSF has emergency staff on the ground in the most affected areas and has been sending vital supplies to these areas. The organisation will continue to investigate reports of new cases and will work to contain the outbreak in the most deeply affected areas as long as necessary. *MSF has no reliable data on the total number of people infected across the country.