Zimbabwe: Nigel’s Story – the tragedy of country’s cholera outbreak

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From: WASH news Africa

[Nigel Chigudu lost] five siblings in five hours to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping across Zimbabwe. “They started vomiting and had serious diarrhoea,” recalls Nigel, 15. “The youngest, Gamu, was 14 months old, and Lameck was 12 years old. It was in the middle of the night; I could not take them anywhere. I just watched them die. “Two days later, my grandmother also passed away,” he adds.

Nigel lives in Budiriro Township, Harare, the epicentre of Zimbabwe’s latest cholera outbreak. [B]urst sewage pipes have left puddles and a permanent stench while months of uncollected refuse litter the streets. Filthy conditions like these have prompted UNICEF to make an international appeal for help to control the epidemic, which is spread by contaminated water.

[…] UNICEF has provided hundreds of thousands of water treatment tablets with a capacity to treat and purify water in more than 3 million households. It has also distributed thousands of oral rehydration salts, IV fluids and drips to treat diarrhoeal dehydration, as well as washing soap and buckets. In addition, UNICEF is trucking safe drinking water and mounting community-based water tanks in cholera-affected communities. There is also a drive to intensify hygiene education and health promotion.

[…] UNICEF has embarked on a $17 million emergency programme for the next 120 days. This programme will fund medicines for 70 per cent of the population; scale up community-based therapeutic feeding; carry out outreach immunization services, and provide incentives for teachers and nurses to return to work.

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