Cholera rising among Zimbabwe's neighbours

Zimbabwe remains the worst affected country in a regional cholera outbreak, but in nine southern African countries surveyed, case numbers and fatalities are rising, according to a UN report released on 6 March.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said as of 4 March, 124,404 cholera cases and 4,320 deaths from the waterborne disease had been reported in Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe since August 2008.

Apart from Zimbabwe's 3,948 deaths, Malawi reported 95 deaths, Zambia 68 deaths, Mozambique 77 deaths, Angola 60 deaths and South Africa 59 fatalities from cholera, at a regional case fatality rate average of 3.5 percent.

Zimbabwe's cumulative cholera caseload was 86,867 cases, followed by South Africa's 11,979 cases, Mozambique's 9,405 cases - although this does not include data from 2008 - Zambia's 5,763 cases, Angola's 5,368 cases and Malawi's 4,171 cases.