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Zimbabwe cholera death toll nears 3000

By on January 28, 2009

The number of cholera deaths in Zimbabwe is now approaching 3,000, the World Health Organization says. Latest, WHO statistics show 2,971 deaths since the outbreak began in August, with 56,123 cases reported.

The epidemic has swept through a country wracked with political and economic crises.

Cholera is an intestinal disease caused by bacteria in contaminated water.

The epidemic has been aggravated by erratic water supplies, shortages of water purification chemicals, broken water and sewer pipes and uncollected garbage.

On top of that, the waste-disposing system has collapsed. Children can be seen playing on heaps of uncollected garbage in the suburbs of most urban areas in Zimbabwe.

Last month, the government led by President Robert Mugabe declared the cholera epidemic a national emergency.

The country already was wracked by an enormous economic crisis, with a hyperinflationary economy and shortages of all essentials including food, fuel, cash, foreign currency and electricity. (Cnn)

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