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United Nations Sets Zimbabwe Cholera Death Toll At 366

The United Nations said Tuesday that the death toll from the cholera epidemic sweeping Zimbabwe has risen to 366, compared with a fatalities count of 281 issued Monday by the government, saying the disease has spread to more than half the country.

The U.N. humanitarian coordination office in Geneva said 8,887 cases have been documented. The World Health Organization said it was concerned the disease could spread further, and has sent medicine and rehydration preparations to help treat those affected.

The Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Arthur Mutambara issued a statement advising Zimbabweans how to prevent and treat the bacterial disease.

Health Secretary Stella Alberry of the Mutambara MDC grouping told Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that caution is required as everyone is at risk.

On Monday, the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Civil Protection Unit Director Madzudzo Pawadzyira as saying the situation was improving and that Harare has made “maximum efforts to control the spread of the disease.”

Chairman Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said cholera deaths have been under-reported by the government, but acknowledged that the Ministry of Health has at least accepted that people are dying from the disease.

Executive Director Itai Rusike of the Community Working Group on Health said that it can be difficult to determine precisely how many people have died from cholera.

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