'More than 500 dead' in Zimbabwe cholera outbreak

1:43 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

More than 500 people have perished in a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in Tangiers.
The water-borne disease has killed "more than 500" and affected "more than half a million" people, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said, after arriving in Morocco for a visit.
The UN earlier Friday (local time) put the number of fatalities at 412 and warned the outbreak was spreading to Botswana and South Africa.
"The rapid deterioration of the health service delivery system in Zimbabwe, lack of adequate water supply and inability to dispose of solid waste and repair sewage blockages in most areas will continue to contribute to the escalation and spread of the outbreak," said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs.
Cholera is now hitting the whole of eastern Zimbabwe and spreading, she said, as UN humanitarian agencies aim to ensure delivery of medical supplies, clean drinking water and water purification kits.
Zimbabwe belatedly changed its tune Thursday and asked for international help to fight the outbreak after long insisting that the situation was under control.
- AFP