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Over 1 000 Zim Cholera patients in South African hospitals

by BuaNews Online
on 25 Nov 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

More than 1 000 Zimbabwean cholera patients have been treated at two South African hospitals - 1 000 in Beitbridge hospital and 168 at Musina hospital, South African health officials said Monday.

"As at Sunday, our hospital in Musina had received a total of 168 cholera patients since the outbreak of the disease on 15 November, three of whom have died," Musina Municipality Health Department spokesperson Phuti Seloba told the media, adding that 27 patients were currently in the hospital.

Mr Seloba said South African and Zimbabwean health officials met at the weekend to map out a strategy to tackle the cholera outbreak that is wreaking havoc in crisis-ravaged Zimbabwe and fast spreading into South Africa's northernmost province.

"We had a meeting on Sunday with health officials from Zimbabwe. It was a very fruitful meeting. We did an assessment of Zimbabwe's health needs to enable us to tackle the problem.

"During the meeting, held in the Zimbabwean border town of Beitbridge, we all realised that the problem is neither Zimbabwean nor South African. This is our common problem and we need to solve it jointly. We need to look at the health gaps and find a way to fill them by tackling the source of the problem," Mr Seloba said.

Zimbabwe - which is facing a serious humanitarian crisis with more than half of the population facing starvation and a world record inflation of more than 231 million percent - has been battling to contain an outbreak of cholera that started in September and, according to the World Health Organisation, has since claimed 294 lives.

Compounding the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe is the fact that the country's once admired health system has totally collapsed while doctors and nurses are grossly underpaid because the government does not have money. - BuaNews-NNN

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