Cholera is still a major cause of disease epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). During the period January 2017–March 2018, 15 countries in the WHO African Region (AFR) reported cholera outbreaks of varying magnitudes. Zimbabwe has experienced cholera outbreaks dating as far back as 1971 with an unprecedented outbreak occurring in 2008/2009 when 60 of the 62 districts in the country were affected. The outbreak was declared over in May 2009 and by then, 98,592 cases and 4288 deaths had been reported. In Zimbabwe, outbreaks have occurred against a backdrop of a struggling economy and a weak health system. The role of a resilient health system in emergencies response is accentuated premised on experiences from the Ebola outbreak that largely affected three countries in West Africa. Amidst economic and persistent system wide challenges faced by Zimbabwe, preparedness and response capacity has been built over the years. This is evidenced by the rapid response and containment of the recent cholera outbreak. Skilled and equipped rapid response teams, strengthened surveillance and maintaining high alert, effective multisectoral collaboration and high level political engagement are among the critical elements that have built resilience.
Part of the book: Current Issues in Global Health