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Zimbabwe launches cholera vaccination campaign amid ongoing outbreak

A child receives a measles vaccination jab at a local clinic in Harare, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


Zimbabwe launched a cholera vaccination campaign on Monday, aiming to immunize over two million people against the waterborne disease.

Administered orally, the vaccine offers protection for at least six months. Beginning in Kuwadzana near Harare, Health workers, focus on schoolchildren and door-to-door initiatives.

The outbreak, ongoing since February 2023, has claimed over 400 lives and infected more than 20 000 individuals.

Zimbabwe will receive a total of 2.3 million vaccine doses from UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to be deployed to 29 of the hardest-hit districts. More than 892 000 doses have already been dispatched, according to the health ministry.

Cholera is spread by contaminated food or water and often occurs in crowded urban areas with poor sanitation facilities.

In November, the Zimbabwean government moved to restrict public gatherings and food vending and monitor burials in areas affected by cholera after cases spiked.

The campaign acts as a crucial preventive measure against cholera in crowded urban areas with sanitation challenges.

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