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Zimbabwe's Despair ContinuesSalem-News.com
Cholera kills almost 2000-Concern Worldwide issues urgent appeal.
(NEW YORK) - The death toll in Zimbabwe from cholera has almost topped 2000, out of total of more than 37,000 confirmed cases, worsening the plight of nation hammered by hyper inflation, food shortages, and an HIV and AIDS epidemic that affects 15 percent of the population.
Already active in the country distributing food, building up livelihood opportunities and caring for people living with HIV and AIDS, Concern Worldwide, the international humanitarian organization, has begun an aggressive program of cholera prevention.
This will target more than 200,000 people in the districts of Chegutu, Nyanga, and North and South Gokwe.
Efforts include the distribution of 2000 hygiene kits, a hygiene campaign, as well as the repair of water and sewage systems and hand pumps in rural areas.
Concern is also overseeing the delivery of water-up to approx. 15,000 gallons of treated an tested water each day-to cholera treatment centers as well as private homes, as needed.
Announcing Concern's urgent appeal to the public for funds, Concern Worldwide CEO Tom Arnold, currently travelling in Zimbabwe, said that "the implosion of Zimbabwe can no longer be tolerated."
Describing scenes of "frantic desperation for food," Arnold noted that the World Food Program estimates that 5.1 million people need food aid.
Among the most vulnerable to cholera are those malnourished and people living with HIV and AIDS, he reports, adding that 400 people die each day in Zimbabwe from complications related to HIV and AIDS.
To end the country's political stalemate that stands in the way of long-term solutions to the country's crisis, Arnold called for "new and vigorous mediation efforts," especially on the part of the African Union and the South African Development Community, which promotes socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states.
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