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Cholera Epidemic Spurs Rare Cooperation Between NGOs and Zimbabwe Government


The death toll from Zimbabwe's tenacious cholera epidemic rose by 24 to 2,225 from a total of 42,675 cases, the World Health Organization said Friday in a statistical update.

Notes to the report compiled through Thursday hinted at the difficulties facing authorities trying to bring the persistent epidemic to a halt. Cholera treatment centers are having trouble ensuring supplies of clean water, as in Makonde and Zvimba, Mashonaland West province.

Authorities were trying to respond to an outbreak in the Gokwe South district of Midlands province, but Mateta ward the nearest medical facility was 30 kilometers away.

A new cholera treatment center was set up in Bikita, Masvingo province, where local authorities reported 17 deaths resulting from 26 cases of the disease.

Spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Harare government has been cooperating with NGOs for a change in the fight against the disease.

During last year's turbulent election period the government banned NGOs from delivering humanitarian services, accusing them of backing the political opposition.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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