SADC leaders convene emergency summit on cholera

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold a virtual Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government tomorrow to discuss the ongoing cholera situation in the region.

The 2023 cholera epidemic continues to impact Southern Africa, placing an additional burden on vulnerable communities and healthcare facilities.

Notably, Zimbabwe has reported 21 835 suspected cholera cases, 2 387 confirmed cases, 21 134 recoveries, 71 confirmed deaths, and 416 suspected deaths.

In response, the Ministry of Health has launched a door-to-door oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign targeting 2.3 million people aged one and above to curb the spread of new infections.

According to a SADC statement, the Extra-Ordinary Summit will receive and consider reports on the cholera situation in affected member states, assess the preparedness and response measures undertaken by SADC member states and discuss strategies to address the ongoing outbreaks.

The meeting will be chaired by SADC Chairperson and Angolan President His Excellency João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço.

“The fight against cholera aligns with the African Regional Framework for the implementation of the Global Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control, 2018-2030,” SADC states. “This framework supports the new global strategy for cholera control at the country level, providing a definitive pathway towards a world where cholera no longer poses a threat to public health.”

As the policy-making institution of SADC, the summit holds responsibility for the overall policy direction and control of the community’s functions.

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