Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic could top 60,000 cases next week, UN figures showed on Friday, putting pressure on rival parties to form a government to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
January 24 2009
Zimbabwe has little hope of easing the cholera epidemic, which has killed nearly 2,800 people, and averting economic collapse without a power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition.
Both Mr Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have shown no sign of compromise ahead of next week’s regional summit aimed at breaking the deadlock in negotiations.
Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic is “far from under control” and could exceed 60,000 cases over next week, the Red Cross said in Geneva on Friday.
Mr Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has come under pressure from Western powers, who want him to step down and are pushing for a democratic government to embrace economic reforms before millions of pounds in aid is offered.
The European Union announced on Friday that it is broadening its sanctions against supporters of Mr Mugabe by adding over 25 individuals and 36 companies with suspected links to human rights abuses to a list of those banned from the 27-member bloc.
The sanctions list will for the first time include companies registered in the bloc, including in Britain, two EU diplomats said, without naming the firms.
The move, due to be finalised at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, will add new government members and relatives of Mugabe allies to an existing list of around 170 individuals banned from travelling in the bloc.
Sanctions will not help the situation, it will only make it worse. That has been proven time and time again. All sanctions do is cripple the country starve the people and does little, if anything else.
If the west and European countries care so much about the people they would help the people. They are not doing that of course.
Maybe they should Sanction Israel as well.
Zimbabwe: MSF Sees Spike in Cholera Cases in Kadoma
Report: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Epidemic continues to spread in rural areas and remains serious in Harare
January 22, 2009
Some 207 new admissions to a cholera treatment center (CTC) near the Zimbabwean capital Harare were received in a 24-hour period yesterday.
A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team at the CTC in the urban area of Kadoma saw the number of patients increase to 368 by the end of the day, January 21.
This number outstripped capacity and MSF is currently assessing new sites for an additional CTC.
Earlier this week, MSF sent medical supplies for the treatment of 1,000 severe cholera cases, along with 50 cholera beds, 50 buckets, and 8,000 packets of oral rehydration salts from UNICEF. More MSF medical supplies for the treatment of 600 severe cases were sent on January 22. One medical team will be stationed permanently in Kadoma to support the cholera response.
With the exception of the surge of cases in Kadoma, the cholera epidemic recently has been spreading mainly in rural areas of Zimbabwe. The numbers of new cases have been decreasing in Harare, although the numbers remain significant.
The spread of the disease in rural areas is a serious concern because some of these places previously had very low or no cases of cholera. As is often seen in rural outbreaks, deaths occur before an intervention can start, and MSF is concerned that the peak has not yet been reached in many of these areas.
In the suburbs, the lack of sanitation services continues to be a problem and could result in higher case numbers again, as was seen in November and December 2008.
Cholera cases are also being found in neighboring countries and MSF is responding as needed. It is believed that these cases are the result of the normal cholera season and are not related to Zimbabwe.