Zwnews Chief Correspondent
Zimbabwe’s new ministers who have been recently sworn-in have been challenged to prioritise people’s health, in the face of a cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 20 lives leaving hundreds others hospitalised.
The outbreak has since been declared a state of emergency.
Zwnews, visited the affected areas today in Glen View, and talked to the residents, with intention to have their views as to what they expect from the authorities in such cases.
Most of those who spoke to this news crew, indicated that they expect the government, mainly the new cabinet to value the lives of citizens, by showing urgency in trying to arrest the water borne disease. One resident, Tinopona Chihwayi says; “This is the time that the government through the newly installed cabinet should do all it can to make sure the citizens are taken care of. The best way they can do to solve the problem, is through the prioritisation of social amenities, service delivery, and infrastructure development.
“It is however, worrying that in most cases, it is the donor community who were always at the forefront in fighting and educating people on water borne diseases. It may be understood that the government has no money to procure the medical stuff, but it has to take key role in providing information about the disease and how to prevent it.”
Over the years international bodies such as UNICEF, World Vision, among others have taken pole positions in the fight. In 2008, the disease claimed thousands of lives, and the international bodies played key roles, in educating people and providing medical assistance. World Vision even drilled boreholes in areas like Tafara and Mabvuku in response to the outbreak.
Another resident, Danisa Nkomo, agrees saying government should take swift action especially in infrastructure development so that water borne diseases which could be prevented will not recur in the future.
“The major challenge that we have is lack of amenities that promote health living among citizens. For instance, here in Glen View, water problems and garbage removals should be prioritised,” he said.
He urged the new government to take a philanthropic way of responding issues that the well-being of citizens.
Meanwhile, commenting on the same matter, Alex Magaisa says the unfortunate part with our government is that it has a tendency of surrendering the fight against deadly diseases like cholera and typhoid to well wishers. He adds that history has it on good authority that cabinet ministers perks and new cars are a top priority.
Magaisa believes that in such cases of need, government as well as ministers should think of the people’s lives first before they think about allowances, and other luxurious perks they are entitled to.