After 10 years of political upheaval and economic turmoil, Zimbabwe has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world and is unable to provide basic necessities like food, health care, clean water, and fuel to its people. In August 2008, the deteriorating public water and sanitation facilities and a decaying health care system resulted in a large-scale cholera epidemic. The worst to hit the country since 1992, the outbreak resulted in more than 4,200 dead and more than 97,000 sick.
Since the start of its operations in 2009, International Medical Corps has established a community-based emergency health and water and sanitation (WASH) programme that benefits more than 220,000 people living in Mashonaland Central Province. International Medical Corps distributed hygiene items and educated communities on the importance of sanitation and hygiene in preventing cholera and other waterborne diseases. To strengthen the overall health care system in Zimbabwe, International Medical Corps also provided much-needed medical supplies to local partners and worked with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Child Welfare to undertake a critical review of the country’s health system.
Similarly, International Medical Corps is implementing a (WASH) programme that uses the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to catalyse positive behaviour change and strengthen capacity in five districts in Mashonaland Central Province. The programme focuses on developing buy-in and promoting WASH in schools, clinics, and communities; ensuring proper use and maintenance of latrines; and strengthening community hygiene promotion.
In tandem with the WASH programmes, International Medical Corps has distributed hygiene items such as soap, water containers, purification tablets, and oral rehydration salts in an effort to prevent cholera.
International Medical Corps is also working to train health care workers and improve the overall health system in Zimbabwe by providing intensive, on-the-job training to health professionals and Village Health Workers, for example on the management of basic medical and obstetrical emergencies.
International Medical Corps UK recognises the invaluable support of the following European donors to make our work possible.