Government will begin the Oral Cholera Vaccination (OVC) rollout today in areas like Kuwadzana, Glen View, Budiriro, Highfield and Chitungwiza which are hotspots of the disease in Harare. The program will also be extended to Buhera and Chiredzi where the epidemic has affected a lot of people.
The first phase of the program forms part of government’s ambitious target to administer 2.3 million vaccines across the country. The development comes after the country has recorded 21 101 suspected cholera cases, 2 367 confirmed cases, 20 416 recoveries, 71 confirmed deaths and 402 suspected cholera deaths since the beginning of the outbreak.
On Saturday, the country recorded 150 new suspected cases and nine suspected deaths, while 10 cases were confirmed by laboratory tests. The Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Douglas Mombeshora has encouraged citizens to take up the vaccines to reduce the effects of cholera.
“I would like to urge all Zimbabweans to take this vaccine seriously because it helps and it will save lives. It is not new; we have used it before,” said Dr Mombeshora.
The vaccines have allocated to Zimbabwe by the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, with support from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF. They were funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance through the ICG.