Five deaths from cholera have been reported in the past week in the Zimbabwean provinces of Mashonaland West and Midlands, raising fears that the onset of the rains could lead to a repeat of the cholera epidemic that claimed 4,288 lives from late 2008 to mid-2009.
The five deaths resulted from 117 cases reported in Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Midlands provinces since last month. Masvingo province has also reported cases.
Health and Child Welfare Secretary Gerald Gwinji said Tuesday that most of the deaths and cases occurred among religious sects that do not accept medical treatment.
Health experts have warned that with the rainy season just beginning around the country, cholera could get out of hand if safe water has not been made widely available.
Spokeswoman Tsitsi Singizi of the United Nations Children's Fund told Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government and international or non-governmental aid agencies are doing all they can to prevent a repeat of last year's deadly epidemic.