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New Cholera Cases Off in Former Epicenter of Zimbabwe Epidemic

In the latest expansion of international relief to Zimbabwe, Finland's Red Cross has set up a clinic in the eastern Manicaland province of Mutare to treat cholera victims.

The Finnish Red Cross dispatched a field hospital to the epidemic-stricken country and set it up on the grounds of an old hospital in the city near the Mozambican border.

The emergency clinic has a staff of 15 including Finnish managers and health professionals recruited locally, reports by the Associated Press and Reuters said.

Meanwhile the World Health Organization said that the epidemic as of Thursday had claimed 1,518 lives while the total number of reported cases surged to 26,497. Those figures implied a fatality rate of 5.7%, well over the 1% rate considered normal internationally.

But in parts of Harare the picture was improving, local officials said.

Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto, reached at the Budiriro Polyclinic which saw many cases and deaths in the early days of the epidemic, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that increased public awareness has curtailed new cases.

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