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New Cholera Cases in Zimbabwe Still Easing, But Officials Warn Against Complacency

The relatively recent downtrend in new cholera cases reported in Zimbabwe is still in place, a senior World Health Organization official in the country said Tuesday, but she warned that it is too early to declare victory and all concerned must remain vigilant to preserve gains.

Dr. Custodia Mandhlate, WHO local representative, said the country's water delivery systems and sanitary infrastructure remains in poor condition even in Harare and other large cities, so Zimbabweans continue to face the risk of infection or re-infection with cholera.

A WHO epidemiological bulletin issued late last week said that the trend in new cases was still down - but not as pronounced as it had been due to a surge in new cases in some areas.

A WHO update put the total number of cases reported since cholera took hold last August at just over 91,000. Deaths from the disease totaled 4,035 as of Sunday, it said.

WHO representative Mandhlate told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that additional funding is needed to restore the country's much-deteriorated infrastructure - essential if the epidemic is finally to be brought to a halt.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...