Zimbabwean health activists say the government needs to do much more to educate people about the risk of cholera and how to help those who have contracted the disease. They warn that unless public awareness is stepped up the death toll will continue to climb.
The World Health Organization reported that deaths from cholera since the epidemic started six months ago totaled 3,229 as of Sunday from some 63,000 cases. The update bearing Sunday's date said 1,672 additional cases and 53 new deaths were reported.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association Of Doctors For Human Rights, said an intensive awareness program instructing Zimbabweans how to avoid infection could slow the spread of the disease and the relentlessly rising death toll.
Dr. Gwatidzo told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that authorities must expand the availability of clean water throughout the country while at the same time spreading word on how to purify the water that is currently available.