Despite the rising number of cholera
cases in Zimbabwe, the World Health Organization says progress is being made
against the epidemic.
WHO spokesman Paul
Garwood, in Geneva, provides the latest figures. He
says, "73,000 cases of cholera had been reported since August and of those
almost 3,500 people have died."
that, there are signs of some progress in the effort to stop the epidemic. Garwood
says, "Yes, we're seeing evidence on a weekly basis of the case fatality rate.
That is, the number of people who die from contracting cholera is reducing,
particularly in health institutions, such as cholera treatment centers and
hospitals and the like. This evidence is needing to be further scrutinized and
checked, but we have been seeing in recent weeks such a fall."
says the figures show that people who are able to get to hospitals or treatment
centers have a much higher rate of survival, underscoring the need for greater
access to those facilities.
WHO spokesman says that while cholera is endemic to many countries in the
region, it has not been in Zimbabwe. But that may be changing due to the high
number of cases.
"One of the major factors, I suppose,
is that the disease itself becomes rooted within the community. So, if that
community has any challenges in terms of obtaining access to clean, safe water
or appropriate sanitation or health care, it's hard to root small pockets of
that disease out," he says.