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President Urges SADC Unity Against Cholera

President Mnangagwa Urges SADC Unity Against Cholera Outbreak

President Mnangagwa has stressed the importance of unity and collaborative efforts within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to address the cholera outbreaks affecting several member countries. Cholera cases have been reported in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, making up the majority of cases recorded across the African continent.

To combat the spread of the water-borne disease and find effective solutions, SADC held a virtual extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government, with a primary focus on tackling cholera.

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During the summit, President Mnangagwa highlighted the urgency for the regional bloc to collectively implement measures to control the epidemic. He assured that Zimbabwe is actively engaged in fighting the scourge, having secured necessary medication and vaccines.

The President emphasized the importance of establishing the Africa Elimination of Cholera Epidemics Coordination Task Force and highlighted the significance of locally producing cholera vaccines to enhance response efforts and address future health challenges.

President Mnangagwa also underscored the need for coordinated transboundary interventions to prevent the spread of cholera. Zimbabwe has implemented a Multi-Sectoral Cholera Elimination Roadmap 2018-2028, focusing on upgrading water and sewer reticulation systems as a long-term solution.

As part of Zimbabwe’s response measures, the country is distributing oral cholera vaccines and has activated Incident Management Systems and Oral Rehydration Points. The adoption of a Whole-of-Government and Society approach involves inter-ministerial committees and community involvement in public health programs.

Furthermore, President Mnangagwa urged member states to invest in climate change research and enforce environmental protocols to mitigate cholera risks. Strengthening national and cross-border disease surveillance is also essential to detect, prevent, and limit the spread of cholera.

The President expressed gratitude for vaccine allocations from the International Coordination Group on Vaccine Provision and commended SADC for its strategies to address the epidemic. He conveyed condolences for lives lost to cholera and appreciated Angolan President Joao Lourenco’s leadership in convening the summit.

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