by Bernard Mutambudzi
The Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo has assured the nation that the new oral cholera vaccine is an effective and safe vaccine as it has been also administered in other countries that experienced similar outbreaks with good results.
Speaking at the launch of the new Cholera Vaccine at Budiriro Community Hall today, Dr Moyo highlighted the importance of oral cholera vaccine urging people to be vaccinated.
“The Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) is important in reducing the burden of cholera as it cuts the transmission cycle. I call upon all citizens to be vaccinated against the deadly disease. I urge all local authorities to work hand in glove with Government to find long term solutions to fight cholera including providing water and sanitary facilities for every household,” said the Minister.
The Minister said the cholera outbreak was declared a national disaster in Harare on 6 September 2018 and the cases were mainly centered in Budiriro, Glen View and Glen Norah.
He said due to the alarming increase of cases within Harare and beyond, coupled with high numbers of community and institutional deaths, the outbreak was elevated to national disaster level by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Government has introduced the cholera vaccine so as to cut cholera transmission cycle. This first round of the vaccination campaign will be targeting Budiriro, Glen View and Glen Norah,” said the Health Minister.
He said a total of 500 000 people are being targeted from the age of one and above starting from today to the 8th of October.
Dr Moyo said the campaign aimed to reach all targets all communities and schools in the Southern part of Harare. He urged all health staffers to understand their obligation in ensuring that every member of the community is immunized.
The Honourable Minister also acknowledged the support they have received from all partners including technical and logistical support from WHO, UNICEF, MSF and other partners. He also said the Ministry of Health and Child Care has introduced the new cholera vaccine as part of its duty to ensure deaths due to vaccine preventable diseases cease to be public health challenges in Zimbabwe.
The cholera has so far claimed the lives of 49 people since September this year.