The Japanese government has announced a financial grant of USD 774,000 (R14,384,000) to support the urgent cholera response efforts in Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, in collaboration with UNICEF. This allocation of funds is to specifically address the needs of the most at-risk communities in Manicaland Province, which is experiencing a significant cholera burden.

By Telegram Reporter

The Japanese financial grant of USD 774,000 (R14,384,000) comes at a crucial time in the cholera response, as Zimbabwe struggles to urgently allocate resources to address and interrupt the cycle of cholera transmission.

The funding will offer various life-saving assistance, including access to clean water, distribution of essential hygiene supplies, healthcare, nutrition, child protection, and other critical social services. This support is crucial for Zimbabwe to quickly allocate resources to combat and stop the spread of cholera.

The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, Shinichi Yamanaka, said: “I hope that our support will allow the most vulnerable people to recover quickly and rebuild their lives. I also hope it will help prevent the further spread of this disease and future outbreaks”.

Since the cholera outbreak began in February 2023, the country has been struggling to contain it, resulting in over 20,000 cases and more than 400 fatalities. The provinces most severely affected are Manicaland and Harare, where the majority of cholera cases, amounting to 64% of the total, have been reported.

“We are extremely grateful to the Government of Japan for this support. This support exemplifies the commitment of the Government of Japan to the people of Zimbabwe to address the urgent needs of the affected communities and build resilience in the face of public health emergencies”, said Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe.

The Government of Zimbabwe, along with UNICEF and their partners, will use the newly allocated funding to expand their efforts in responding to the cholera outbreak in affected areas. Their focus will be on providing better support and treatment for those infected with cholera, as well as ensuring access to safe water. To achieve this, they will prioritise the rehabilitation of sustainable and climate-resilient boreholes to guarantee a long-term supply of safe water. Additionally, they will disseminate messages about cholera prevention and treatment through mass media platforms and interpersonal communication channels.

Since the start of the cholera outbreak, UNICEF has been working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and partners to support affected communities, including:

  • providing emergency health supplies and medical products to establish more than 50 cholera treatment centres and more than 90 community oral rehydration points in affected areas;
  • providing technical and operational support for the cholera vaccination campaign targeting 2.3 million people in the most affected districts;
  • training more than 2,200 health workers on case management, surveillance, and infection control in treatment facilities;
  • reaching more than 260,000 people with critical water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies and
  • reaching 5 million people with messages on health-and-hygiene measures to prevent cholera and the importance of seeking medical treatment early, particularly for children.

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