Southern Africa faces potential Polio outbreak

Health Reporter

Recent outbreak of Polio has put Southern Africa under threat of a potential Polio outbreak.

Speaking to the media in a post Cabinet Briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said following reports of three new Polio cases in Mozambique’s Tete Province, Southern Africa was now experiencing a Polio outbreak. Although Zimbabwe has not yet record its first case, the country still faces a high risk as four of its districts in Mashonaland East Province share a border with Tete Province. This has prompted the nation to urgently join a coordinated vaccination campaign organised regionally.

“On another health matter, the Southern African Region is currently experiencing a poliomyelitis (polio) outbreak. During the week under review three polio cases were reported in Tete Province, Mozambique. Although no polio cases have been reported in Zimbabwe, four of our districts in Mashonaland East Province share a border with Tete Province. Thus Zimbabwe should urgently join a synchronized vaccination campaign in the Region (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique) to contain the outbreak.”

Minister Mutsvangwa further articulated that as of 25 July 2022, the country still maintained a 98% COVID-19 outbreak whilst cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 256 284 with 250 218 recoveries and 5 574 deaths. Active cases as of 25th July were 492 active cases. The country also recorded 133 new cases this week compared to 184 the previous week reflecting a decrease of 28%.

As at 25 July 2022, a total of 6 362 618 first doses had been administered, while 4 728 400 people had received their second dose and 933 499 their third dose. Zimbabweans are encouraged to take advantage of vaccination exercise by visiting the nearest vaccination centres so that they get vaccinated. Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education did not record any new case of COVID-19 related diseases.

Meanwhile, Zimbabweans have been urged to remain alert to the pending dangers posed by Monkey Pox. Although Zimbabwe has not yet recorded a single case, the Ministry of Health remains on high alert. The 74 countries which have been affected by the dieses include Benin with three cases, Cameroon seven cases, Central African Republic three cases and two deaths, DRC 163 cases, Congo Brazzaville two cases, Ghana 19 cases, Nigeria 101 cases and three deaths and South Africa with three cases.