CHOLERA KILLS NEARLY 500

STRUCK DOWN: Cholera patients at a clinic in Harare. The epidemic's outbreak is the biggest recorded in recent years.  01/12/2008. Pic. Philimon Bulawayo.  © Reuters.
STRUCK DOWN: Cholera patients at a clinic in Harare. The epidemic's outbreak is the biggest recorded in recent years. 01/12/2008. Pic. Philimon Bulawayo. © Reuters.

HARARE - A cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe has killed nearly 500 people in the biggest outbreak recorded recently in the crisis-hit country, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

HARARE - A cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe has killed nearly 500 people in the biggest outbreak recorded recently in the crisis-hit country, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

The cholera, easily prevented and treated under normal circumstances, is a sign of Zimbabwe's collapse as President Robert Mugabe and the opposition squabble over how to implement a power-sharing agreement.

The WHO said the cholera outbreak affected most regions of Zimbabwe with a fatality rate of up to 50percent in some areas.

Zimbabwean rights groups estimate that up to 1000 people have died from the disease.

The water delivery system has broken down in Harare and other cities, forcing residents to drink from contaminated wells and streams.

Zimbabweans have grown increasingly angry at the collapse of the once prosperous country, where the deadlock between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over a power-sharing deal has delayed hope of rescuing the ruined state.

The army said yesterday it was worried about unprecedented clashes between soldiers and Zimbabweans on Monday and was investigating the conduct of "indisciplined" soldiers. - Reuters

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