The Government of Japan has announced a grant of USD 774,000 for the emergency cholera response in Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, through UNICEF. This funding will specifically target the most vulnerable communities in Manicaland Province, which bears one of the highest burdens of cholera.
The grant will provide a comprehensive range of life-saving support in areas such as access to safe water, provision of critical hygiene materials, healthcare, nutrition, child protection, and other essential social services. It comes at a crucial time in the cholera response, as Zimbabwe endeavours to urgently allocate resources to address and interrupt the cycle of cholera transmission.
The country has been grappling with the cholera outbreak since February 2023, recording more than 20,000 cholera cases and over 400 deaths. Manicaland and Harare are the hardest-hit provinces and together account for 64% of all cholera cases.
“We are extremely grateful to the Government of Japan for this support. This support exemplifies the commitment of the Government of Japan to the people of Zimbabwe to address the urgent needs of the affected communities and build resilience in the face of public health emergencies”, said Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe.
The newly allocated funding will help the Government of Zimbabwe, UNICEF, and their partners to scale up the multi-sectoral cholera response in affected areas, prioritising improved support and treatment to people infected by cholera, securing access to safe water with a particular emphasis on the rehabilitation of sustainable, climate-resilient boreholes to ensure a lasting supply of safe water; and disseminating messages on cholera prevention and treatment through mass media platforms and interpersonal communication channels.
The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr Shinichi Yamanaka, said: “I hope that our support will allow the most vulnerable people to recover quickly and rebuild their lives. I also hope it will help prevent the further spread of this disease and future outbreaks”.
Since the start of the cholera outbreak, UNICEF has been working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and partners to support affected communities, including:
- providing emergency health supplies and medical products to establish more than 50 cholera treatment centres and more than 90 community oral rehydration points in affected areas;
- providing technical and operational support for the cholera vaccination campaign targeting 2.3 million people in the most affected districts;
- training more than 2,200 health workers on case management, surveillance, and infection control in treatment facilities;
- reaching more than 260,000 people with critical water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies and
- reaching 5 million people with messages on health-and-hygiene measures to prevent cholera and the importance of seeking medical treatment early, particularly for children.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Zimbabwe.