U.S. and Zimbabwean physicians groups sounded an alarm Wednesday about the cholera epidemic that
is sweeping the Southern African country, warning that it faces a public health
catastrophe and asking the international community to provide urgent assistance.
Physicians for Human Rights of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights issued the plea for international help following a news conference by phone in which the medical activists discussed the
crisis and the needed response.
Physicians for Human Rights pledged to send doctors
and other health professionals to help Zimbabwean counterparts
relieve the growing number of cholera victims.
Physicians for Human Rights Chief Executive Officer Frank Donaghue called for a legitimate government to be put in place to protect the lives and health of Zimbabweans.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, put the responsibility for the crisis squarely on the
Dr. Gwatidzo told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, participating in the news
conference, that an honest assessment must be made of what has gone wrong as a starting point to ending the crisis, while Donaghue urged international action.
A Zimbabwean medical student told the news conference authorities have under reported the
cholera epidemic which reportedly stands at about 1,000 cases mainly in Harare, Chinhoyi in Mashonaland West province, and in Beitbridge on the border with South Africa.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...