- The UN humanitarian agency has said the Zimbabwe cholera epidemic has seen a sharp rise in the past two weeks with the death toll estimated a little above 3,000 since the outbreak began in August last year. The latest figures represent an increase of more than 1,000 deaths in just two weeks.
The Humanitarian office said close to 58, 000 people have been infected with cholera in Zimbabwe, saying more than one person in every 20 who contract cholera in Zimbabwe is dying of the disease. The usual mortality rate for large-scale outbreaks is 1 in 100 according to UN’s health organisation.
The epidemic of the water-borne disease has been fuelled by the collapse of Zimbabwe's water, sanitation and health systems after more than a decade of economic recession. It has the highest inflation of more than 230 million percent.
The situation is also exacerbated by the country’s long dragging political crisis, which has left government health facilities abandoned. The Zimbabwean political leaders have signed a power sharing agreement in September last year, but the formation of the unity government has been stalled over the allocation of key ministerial positions, with the latest regional brokerage expected to see the formation of a new government by 13 February.
The disease, endemic to Zimbabwe, causes profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to fatal dehydration and shock, according to the World Health Organisation.
The illness has spread to neighbouring South Africa, causing the deaths of at least 44 people. However, the SA government has rejected reports saying that cholera outbreak in some of the provinces is not in anyway linked to Zimbabwe’s epidemic.
President Robert Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, head of a faction of the MDC, earlier this week agreed to form a power-sharing government by 13 February.
The accord came 10 months after Mr Tsvangirai won the most votes in a presidential election and then withdrew from a runoff vote in June, citing state-sanctioned violence against his supporters.
Meanwhile, the MDC's leader was optimistic about power-sharing, saying he would go ahead if the rivals resolved their long-running disputes.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.