Zimbabwe receives second batch of cholera vaccines

Source: Zimbabwe receives second batch of cholera vaccines | Sunday News (local news)

Harare Bureau

ZIMBABWE yesterday received a consignment of 211 200 cholera vaccines from the International Co-ordinating Group (ICG), which will boost the Government’s ongoing campaign to prevent the acute diarrhoeal disease, particularly in areas considered hotspots.

The remaining batches of doses are expected on February 12 and 17, respectively, adding to the 892 296 delivered last month. 

Overall, Government has secured 2,2 million doses of the oral cholera vaccine.

Ministry of Health and Child Care Permanent Secretary Dr Aspect Maunganidze said the vaccination programme was going on very well.

“The cholera vaccine was shipped in the country in batches, from January 25.

“The vaccination campaign is going on very well, with above 90 percent coverage being reported so far across all targeted hotspots.

“So far, 690 000 people have received vaccines,” said Dr Maunganidze.

He said the second batch of vaccines will prioritise hotspot areas in Harare.

“Other provinces received their consignment, but Harare had a shortfall of 418 586 doses,” he said.

A vaccine

Statistics from the ministry show that Chitungwiza received 251 622 doses, Manicaland (351 471), Mashonaland Central (109 324), Mashonaland East (20 279), Mashonaland West (12 777), Masvingo (339 488), Midlands (124 906), and Harare (674 796).

Public health expert Dr Johannes Marisa said the vaccination uptake has been positive.

“I am happy to say that the majority of people in hotspot areas have been vaccinated. 

“That is a positive for the country,” he said.

“We now have protection against the extremes of cholera, in terms of signs and symptoms, which include severe dehydration, muscle cramps and even death.”

Zimbabwe, like most countries in the region, is battling with a cholera outbreak that has so far claimed more than 71 lives.

As at February 8, the country had confirmed 2 447 cases out of the reported 23 409 suspected cholera cases.

However, Government last week indicated that cases were declining.