HARARE – MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa yesterday condemned the country’s leadership for failing to contain the cholera outbreak which has so far claimed 21 lives across the country.
The waterborne disease which broke out a week ago in Harare’s high density suburbs of Budiriro and Glen View, now has a reported 3 000 suspected cases in the country.
Speaking at a tour of Glen View 1 clinic where he had gone to assess the cholera situation, Chamisa said it was disappointing that government delayed to take immediate action towards the deadly disease.
“The … government took too long to deal with this situation because by now it should have sent helicopters to assess the condition on the ground, ambulances, money and other resources that can help families affected by this disease before it got out of hand,” he said.
Despite the minister of Health going to examine the conditions, Chamisa said nothing else has been done by the government although its input in ending cholera is immediately required.
He pointed out that resources should be sent to help those who are mostly affected.
“The government must chip in because this is a sort of situation where we need to see more of its presence so that there is a collective effort to it.
“I am also going to plead with other actors in the corporate sector, for instance, to help in any way because this situation needs a national push,” added Chamisa.
The opposition president said as leaders it is a disgrace to know that the country is struggling to deal with the disease which previously claimed 4 000 lives in 2008, considering the modern world with better health facilities that people are now living in.
Chamisa bemoaned this outbreak suggesting that it is evidence that the country is not moving forward.
He said this reflects negatively on the country and there is need for officials to put more effort in fighting cholera.
“It is an embarrassment for us as a nation and leaders to be struggling with cholera when we are living in a modern world with technology and better doctors.
“Cholera and typhoid are diseases of the past and we should not be struggling to address them,” said the opposition leader.
However, Chamisa commended efforts by the Harare City Council and the clinic in trying to help cholera victims and Glen View and Budiriro residents by attending to usual sewer bursts and trying to clean the suburbs.
“We want to appreciate the doctors, the mayor and the councillors who have worked hard, they have done a fantastic job in trying to address the situation although the deaths that we have had are far too many,” he said.
As he sympathetically moved around the clinic talking to those suspected to have the disease, Chamisa prayed for them and also encouraged the nurses to keep up their good work in fighting cholera.
He also encouraged council not to cut water supplies during this trying period as this will worsen the already critical situation.