May 26, 2024

WHO provides 22 metric tonnes of supplies to enhance its response to cholera in Zimbabwe

WHO provides 22 metric tonnes of supplies to enhance its response to cholera in Zimbabwe.

Mary Chikwanda in Zimbabwe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a significant step to strengthen its support for cholera response in Zimbabwe by delivering a large shipment of essential supplies, amounting to 22 metric tonnes. This current contribution highlights the WHO’s unwavering commitment to protecting public health and reducing the effects of the destructive cholera outbreak.

The funding for the cholera supplies came from contributions made by the Health Resilience Fund, which is supported by the European Union, Embassy of Ireland, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the UK Aid (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office). The shipment includes cholera kits, medical supplies, and protective gear for personal use. These resources are ready to significantly enhance the ability of health facilities to effectively manage and treat cases of cholera.

Furthermore, they will assist in implementing important prevention measures such as water purification and sanitation efforts, essential for reducing the spread of cholera. It is anticipated that the supplies will enable healthcare workers to provide prompt and efficient treatment, potentially leading to the saving of many lives.

The event, which was graced by important figures including Dr Douglas Mombeshora, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Professor Jean-Marie Dangou, the WHO Representative to Zimbabwe, and several senior government officials and WHO staff, symbolized a crucial milestone in the continuous fight against cholera.

Dr Moeti thanked the donors for their generosity and stressed the importance of tackling the underlying factors contributing to cholera outbreaks. Moeti stressed the importance of improving access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, raising awareness, engaging communities, and enhancing early warning systems to detect and respond to cases effectively.

Zimbabwe has been struggling with a cholera outbreak made worse by issues with water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, which have been further complicated by extended dry seasons caused by climate change. The response efforts have been further complicated due to the limited availability of oral cholera vaccines on a global scale.

Dr Mombeshora emphasized the importance of the donation and its impact on addressing critical response gaps. Dr Mombeshora noted that this shipment will assist in addressing important needs, pointing out the decrease in cases but stressing the importance of ongoing efforts.

Dr Aspect Maunganidze, the Permanent Secretary, expressed gratitude for the WHO’s collaborative approach in involving the Ministry in the procurement process, ensuring a focused response to the specific needs of the population.

WHO is not only dedicated to providing immediate assistance but also to developing long-term capabilities. The organization is actively involved in training healthcare professionals, enhancing surveillance systems, and advocating public awareness initiatives. This shipment is not just a practical solution to the current emergency, but also evidence of WHO’s steadfast dedication to worldwide public health.