Historically, AmeriCares has delivered major shipments of water purification and cholera treatment supplies, antibiotics and other medicines, along with medical supplies and nutritional support.
Snapshot of Zimbabwe:
Zimbabwe's political crisis, economic collapse and civil unrest have had a major impact on public health. Once the country was considered a potential breadbasket for Southern Africa, and now nearly half of the population suffers from malnutrition and life expectancy is about 51 years. With the disintegration of their health care system, there are few medical resources except those donated by charitable organizations to deal with the many critical health issues:
- cholera outbreaks common during rainy season due to poor sanitation
- high prevalence of HIV/AIDS (approximately 10% of population)
Since 1997, AmeriCares has given more than $25 million in humanitarian, disaster and medical aid to the people of Zimbabwe. AmeriCares has helped with relief supplies ranging from medicines, medical supplies and nutritional support.
In 2008-2009 a cholera outbreak became an epidemic - one of the worst in the country's history. 100,000 people were infected; the death rate topped 4.4% - more than triple the average number of fatalities. AmeriCares delivered water purification and other cholera prevention supplies. We also delivered IV fluids and solutions, along with IV supplies. Oral rehydration products were available, particularly for children who are at a high risk for cholera.
In 2002 and 2003, AmeriCares delivered emergency relief to Zimbabwe as part of the Action for Africa campaign. Due to a devastating drought, a severe famine and medical crisis developed in Zimbabwe and throughout southern Africa. In response, AmeriCares sent medicine, medical supplies and nutritional supplements.
AmeriCares also donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling to Zimbabwe to provide charitable medical care. Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible.
Recent News from Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is slowly recovering from Africa's worst cholera outbreak in 15 years. People are still reeling from civil unrest and the collapse of the country's health care system.
AmeriCares Medical Director and Yale Professor does a brief Q&A on preventing cholera in the developing world.