The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the death toll in the cholera epidemic which has ravaged Zimbabwe for weeks rose to 774 people as of late Monday - but some health activists said the actual death toll was probably in the thousands.

The WHO said a total of 15,219 cases had been reported

Elsewhere, the United Nations Children's Fund or UNICEF said it was seeking US$17.5 million from donor countries to fight the disease which has spread across the country and into neighboring South Africa, where many Zimbabweans have sought treatment.

Executive Director Itayi Rusike of the Community Working Group on Health told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that thousands of Zimbabweans are dying at home because they have lost faith in the country's collapsed health-care system.

In Geneva, U.N. aid agencies said Zimbabwe is grappling with a cholera crisis of unprecedented proportions, and that social collapse and deterioration of the health system are complicating measurement of the epidemic, as VOA's Lisa Schlein reported.

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