The Minister of Health and Child Care Obadiah Moyo officially launched the Oral Cholera Vaccine campaign today at Budiriro 1 Polyclinic for the Budiriro – Glenview residents that have been affected by the cholera pandemic.
The vaccines are being administered in cholera epicenters, Glenview and Budiriro where 49 lives have been claimed by the infectious disease, cholera and an estimated 6000 people have been infected.
Speaking at the official launch of the Oral Cholera Vaccine Program, the Minister of Health said that the program is only a stop gap measure to curb and contain cholera and going forward this exercise will continue in surrounding areas and cities like Bulawayo that have also been affected by cholera.
“We are only applying temporary solutions but we want our local authorities to implement solutions that are long term so that Zimbabwe will never have cholera again. Adequate Water and sanitation should be a high priority, we do not want boreholes rather clean water,”he said.
” The are going to start with 500 000 vaccines here in Glenview-Budiriro area and we will also move to other suburbs around Harare, but this won’t be for Harare only, we started with Harare because this is where cholera emanated from. Other vaccines amounting to 900 000 will arrive on Sunday and other 1.4m vaccines are to arrive shortly as well, giving us a total of 2.8m vaccines,” the Minister added.
The vaccines are to be taken in two doses, the first dose is to be taken immediately and the second one before 6 months elapses. These vaccines will protect a person from cholera for the next 3 to 5 years.
Both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in raising funds, outsourcing resources for the cholera outbreak.
An official from the Ministry of Finance speaking on behalf of the Head of Treasury Professor Mthuli Ncube said that the ministry has since unveiled $4.7 m to cater for the needs of the City’s infrastructure requirements as it intensifies the fight to end cholera in affected areas.
“As a result of bursting pipes there is need to look at the water and sanitation issue and as a Ministry through the Long Investment Program we are engaging local authorities in terms of putting long term plans of replacement of pipes and also how we can approach these issues in new settlement areas,” he said
“We were given a budget of $60m, and out of that budget we were able to disburse about $15.7m and of that money $11m was given to the Ministry of Health to utilise on various forms for the cholera outbreak, and the remaining $4.7m was given to both the City of Harare and the Civil Protection Unit,” he added.
Stakeholders have also jumped on board to assist, the Ministry of Health has received a huge boost in the fight to eradicate cholera with a donation of a 5000 litre water bowser and two 6 cubic metre waste collection skip bins from William Bain & Company, Zimbabwe’s leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural mechanization equipment. Bakers Inn has also donated 6 X 5,000 litre tanks, fully equipped with the related infrastructure to disburse free safe drinking water these tanks will provide 30,000 litres of water daily and nearly a million litres of safe water every month!