Funding by the United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for three IOM programmes in Zimbabwe assisting mobile and vulnerable populations will provide critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance to communities across the country.
IOM is working in coordination with United Nations agencies and local authorities to combat a deadly outbreak of cholera, which has so far claimed dozens of lives.
As growing numbers of cholera cases spread to border areas, IOM has been tasked by the United Nations / Inter-Agency Standing Committee (UN/IASC) Health cluster to lead a coordinated response to the crisis in border areas in Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West provinces.
IOM continues to work in coordination with United Nations (UN) agencies and local authorities to urgently combat a rapidly spreading outbreak of cholera, which has thus far claimed hundreds of lives. With the entire country now affected by the outbreak, and with floods anticipated with the rainy season now in swing, the cholera crisis could deepen.
IOM has been implementing cholera awareness campaigns with city health authorities at major transportation hubs in Harare, Bulawayo
and Mutare December 20th through January 10th to promote the prevention of cholera transmission through the large scale movement
of people during the holiday period.
IOM reached some 160,000 people between 20 December 2008 and 10 January 2009 with cholera prevention messages and free aqua tabs distributed at transportation hubs in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.
Although cholera fatality rates in Zimbabwe have dropped slightly this week, the numbers of cholera cases continue to rise as the
disease spreads further into the rural heartland of the country.
Although cholera fatality rates and new cases are on the decline, the epidemic is still not under control.
Across Zimbabwe, close to 4,000 people have died from cholera in recent months, mostly in impoverished districts. Tens of thousands
more have been treated for the highly infectious disease spread by contaminated food and water. Deteriorating sewage systems, poor
access to safe drinking water, a shortage of trained health personnel, and the large and frequent movement of people have contributed to the spread of the disease.
IOM is today (3/8) handing over two rural health centres in Manicaland, southeast of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, to communities hosting large numbers of displaced farm workers