Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has expressed concern over the death of 21 people from cholera, which is preventable and treatable.
Speaking to journalists after visiting a cholera treatment camp at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare yesterday, the First Lady said it was sad that the spread of the disease was a result of poor hygienic practices.
“Loss of life is not a desirable occurrence, especially when what is causing it is totally preventable and treatable. Most of the issues are coming from us; the way we carry ourselves, the way we behave in terms of handling food and water,” she said.
People, said the First Lady, should always ensure that their homes are clean, the food they eat is well-cooked and their families practise good hygienic standards to curb water and food-borne diseases.
The First Lady said while the authorities had a role to play in providing basic amenities, especially in densely-populated areas such as proper sanitation facilities, clean water and collection of garbage, individuals must play their role.
“I want to encourage people that when they are buying fruits and vegetables, they clean them thoroughly,” she said.
She expressed concern over some settlements, which she said were overcrowded, leading to the further spread of diseases like cholera.
The First Lady said to effectively contain the outbreak, people should work together and coordinate efforts because this was not solely a Government problem.
“I am also saying on this one we have our children in the diaspora. They should also come and help us here in Zimbabwe. This is your country. Come back home and put your hand. You will see there will be good development to your country and the Zimbabwe we want all,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo commended the First Lady’s gesture to visit the cholera treatment site saying it showed commitment and motherly love.
“We are taking drastic action to ensure that we get rid of the diseases as quickly as possible. So I am so happy when you talk about a clean Zimbabwe. We want to make Zimbabwe clean, so there is no one better than yourself and His Excellency leading us to ensure that all our cities and where we live remains clean,” said Dr Moyo.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima also commended the First Lady’s efforts.
He said the Ministry would ensure that all schools had safe and adequate water supplies and proper sanitation facilities.
“As for now we have not lost any pupil from our schools but there are some parents of children in our schools who have died,” he said.