A spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross said the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe is getting worse despite the best efforts of international relief organizations, and the World Health Organization said the death toll had risen to 978 victims.

The WHO said some 18,413 cases of cholera had been reported.

Communications Officer Heron Holloway of the International Federation of Red Cross in Southern Africa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the lack of hospitals and clinics to receive patients makes it hard to quell the disease.

Meanwhile, Chairman Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human rights said a new outbreak of cholera was reported in Kadoma, Mashonaland West province.

Responding to the general health care crisis in Zimbabwe, the United Nations Population Fund Monday said it was providing $US200 million worth of medical supplies to the maternity wings of state hospitals in a move to shore up services that have greatly diminished.

Correspondent Sylvia Manika of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

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