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Raw sewage in streets: Cholera is Zimbabwe’s latest crisis



raw sewage in harare
Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

Raw sewage in Harare flows freely in some streets, posing a deadly challenge to the recently elected president who has promised the troubled country a new dawn.

A cholera outbreak has killed more than 30 people and sickened more than 7,000 as it spreads beyond Harare, posing the latest crisis for a government that pledges, somehow, to turn a collapsed economy into a middle-class one by 2030.

The signs are not encouraging. Inflation has spiked. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took office after the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe and for a while sent hopes soaring, now spends his time vowing to fight a “medieval” disease.


As many residents of Harare hop-skip over fetid puddles, many are reminded of the outbreak a decade ago that killed over 4,000 people. Now water and sanitation are largely worse than before.

As the outbreak spreads beyond Harare, Zimbabweans see it as the new government’s first big test after a bitterly disputed election.


“It is by God’s grace that we have not yet been infected,” the 66-year-old Elizabeth Limamu told The Associated Press. She has lined a path of stones from the street to her home to avoid stepping in sewage that has pooled next to her yard. Children, some barefoot, play next to it.

“I lock my children inside. It is not safe out here,” said Tinotenda Kwitsa, a neighbour.

While some in Harare dig trenches to divert the flow, others cannot avoid the sewage that has crept into homes. Noisy school children in the uniform swarm the streets, seemingly oblivious to the risky conditions.

In the suburb of Budiriro, one resident laughed at radio announcements advising people to wash their hands with running tap water.

“These taps have been dry for months. When it comes, the water has a brown colour and it smells,” Norman Marambe said. Some residents have resorted to drilling boreholes or digging shallow wells and then locking them.

“Thieves steal both the water and taps if we don’t lock the taps,” said 61-year-old Anatolia Chivanga.

The financially struggling government has launched a $57 million appeal amid some backlash. Some local non-governmental organizations are holding the government accountable for the cholera deaths.

“It is alarming and quite unusual for such a medieval and preventable disease to continue to claim such valuable lives in this day and age,” said the Civil Society Health Emergency Response Coordinating Committee.

A crowd-funding initiative by new Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has swelled public anger, with some questioning why a government that splashes on new cars and private jets should ask impoverished citizens to chip in.

On Wednesday, the minister said the government had suspended the purchases of cars for ministers and lawmakers to focus on the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the president, who previously hired private planes for foreign travel, took Zimbabwe’s state carrier to the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.

Quick intervention by donors and the government could help Zimbabwe avoid a repeat of the 2008 disaster but they agree risks remain if long-term measures aren’t taken to replace ageing infrastructure and cater to a growing urban population.

Corruption, another challenge, has flourished amid the crisis.

The Harare City Council said it suspended several officials after billionaire telecommunications businessman Strive Masiyiwa wrote on Facebook that officials had inflated prices after his firm donated $10 million to buy medicine and other health materials.

“Gloves worth $3 were suddenly worth $65,” Masiyiwa said.

In his first state of the nation address since the election, Mnangagwa this week vowed to take on the corruption that has hollowed out this once-prosperous country.

Other crises facing his administration are piling up like the garbage in Harare’s streets.

With factories resembling scrapyards, Zimbabwe has to import most basic items. Foreign currency shortages have led to a booming black market where exchange rates are skyrocketing.

Prices of basic items such as bread are climbing. Long lines at banks remain.

Widespread unemployment has forced some to ignore cholera warnings. For days, police have battled to clear Harare’s streets of thousands of people hustling as vendors, saying it will help reduce the spread of the disease.

Some now play cat-and-mouse with police, wary of arrests and confiscations. Others have taken to vending at night to avoid raids.

“They want to save me from cholera, but what about my hunger?” asked one vendor, Yemurai Chimuka. “My family cannot survive if I don’t come to the streets. There are no jobs out there, yet prices are rising.”

San Francisco Chronicle.


Tawanda Mambo (Saintfloew)goes to SA for rehab




Zimbabwean rapper Saintfloew is looking to kick his drug addiction once and for all and has reportedly flown out to South Africa where he is going to receive rehabilitation services.

In an interview with Star FM’s Ollah 7 last week, Saintfloew admitted that he was taking drugs, although he was in the process of trying to quit. He refused to admit whether he had been taking the dreaded crystal meth, known popularly as Guka or Dombo.

I cannot confirm the allegations and I cannot say anything about them, so I am not confirming anything and I am not talking about anything. But what I am saying is we came out from the wrong way, a lot happens here in Chitown (Chitungwiza) and I took multiple drugs.

I am still working on quitting taking some of the things. I am not confirming anything but all I can say is there are some drugs that I am trying to stop,” he said.

Saintfloew also revealed that his drug addiction had little to do with the music industry.

It is not like the pressures of music cause artists to take drugs, but before we became artists, we had nothing to do and we had all the time to take drugs. Now if it is regret or moving on, that is what I am working on,” he said

In an interview with H-Metro before the rapper’s departure to South Africa, Saintfloew’s mother, Ebenezer Mambo said that her son’s struggles with drugs were linked to a tough upbringing. She said the musician lost his father at the age of two.

We lost his father when they were still very young and there was no man in the house to whip my son into line. I tried my best to give him a life, but there are some times when a father is needed in the upbringing of children.

I have never doubted my son’s intelligence, but I was worried when he continued pursuing music. He ended up taking drugs and it pains me a lot,” she said.

Mambo praised Nash Paints Group executive chairman, Tinashe Mutarisi, who convinced Saintfloew to go for rehab in SA, for helping her son get back on track.

“I am humbled that good people still exist as is the case with Mr Tinashe Mutarisi. I think he was sent by God to save my son from abusing drugs.

“Like the biblical Moses, Mutarisi has just done the best for my family and I hope my son will come back from South Africa a changed man,” she said.

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Embracing the Mediterranean Diet for a Healthier Lifestyle



Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet – a lifestyle that not only promotes good health but also offers a delicious and enjoyable way of eating. In this article, we will delve into the origins and principles of the Mediterranean Diet, explore its key components, and uncover the numerous health benefits it provides. We will also provide you with practical tips on how to incorporate this diet into your daily routine and share some simple yet tasty recipes to get you started. Additionally, we will address the question of whether the Mediterranean Diet can aid in weight loss. So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey towards better health and culinary delight, let’s dive right in!

The Origins and Principles of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not just a passing trend; it is a way of life that has been followed for centuries in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where people relied on the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and olive oil that were readily available in their region. The principles of this diet are simple yet powerful: eat mostly plant-based foods, incorporate healthy fats like olive oil, limit red meat consumption, and enjoy meals with family and friends.

One of the key components of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients. This means that your meals should be filled with colourful fruits and vegetables that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition to these plant-based foods, you should also include whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread in your meals. These provide a good source of fibre and help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.

Another important principle of the Mediterranean diet is the use of healthy fats like olive oil instead of saturated or trans fats found in processed foods. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which have been shown to improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels. It also adds a delicious flavour to your dishes. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet encourages moderate consumption of dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt which provide calcium and protein.

Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet: What to Include in Your Meals

The Mediterranean diet is known for its emphasis on fresh, whole foods that are rich in nutrients. When it comes to the key components of this diet, there are several food groups that you should include in your meals. These components not only provide a wide range of essential nutrients but also contribute to the overall health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

One important component of the Mediterranean diet is fruits and vegetables. These should make up a significant portion of your meals, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Aim to include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your daily meals to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains are another essential component of the Mediterranean diet. Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread provide fibre, which helps promote digestive health and keeps you feeling full for longer. Including whole grains in your meals can also help lower the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar control.

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: A Closer Look

The Mediterranean diet is not only known for its delicious and diverse range of foods but also for its numerous health benefits. Research has shown that following this diet can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. The key to these health benefits lies in the emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

One of the main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so beneficial for our health is because it is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre that support overall well-being. Additionally, the diet includes moderate amounts of lean proteins such as fish and poultry, which provide essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair.

Another important aspect of the Mediterranean diet is its focus on olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels. This can help lower the risk of heart disease and promote a healthy cardiovascular system.

Tips for Incorporating the Mediterranean Diet into Your Lifestyle

One of the key tips for incorporating the Mediterranean Diet into your lifestyle is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. This means choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. By avoiding processed foods that are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, you can ensure that you are nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods that promote good health.

Another important tip is to embrace the abundance of plant-based foods in the Mediterranean Diet. Vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all staples of this eating pattern. Try to incorporate a variety of these foods into your meals and snacks throughout the day. Not only will they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they also add delicious flavours and textures to your dishes.

In addition to focusing on food choices, it’s also important to adopt a mindful approach to eating when following the Mediterranean Diet. This means paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, eating slowly and savouring each bite, and being aware of portion sizes. By practising mindful eating, you can develop a healthier relationship with food and enjoy a more satisfying dining experience.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Simple and Tasty Ideas to Try

The Mediterranean diet is not only known for its health benefits but also for its delicious and simple recipes. Incorporating these recipes into your meals can be a great way to enjoy the flavours of the Mediterranean while reaping the rewards of this nutritious eating plan. From fresh salads to hearty soups, there are plenty of tasty ideas to try.

One popular Mediterranean recipe is Greek salad. Made with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, this colourful dish is packed with vitamins and minerals. Topped with feta cheese and olives, it offers a tangy and salty flavour that perfectly complements the crispness of the vegetables. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over it for a refreshing dressing that brings all the ingredients together.

If you’re looking for something heartier, why not try a classic Italian pasta dish? Spaghetti aglio e olio is a simple yet satisfying recipe that features garlic-infused olive oil tossed with al dente spaghetti. Add some red pepper flakes for a hint of spice, and garnish with parsley or grated Parmesan cheese for an extra burst of flavour. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.

The Mediterranean Diet and Weight Loss: Can It Help You Shed Those Extra Pounds?

The Mediterranean Diet has gained popularity not only for its delicious and diverse food options but also for its potential to aid in weight loss. While weight loss is a complex process that involves various factors, the Mediterranean Diet can certainly play a role in helping you shed those extra pounds. This diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients and low in unhealthy fats and sugars.

One of the reasons why the Mediterranean Diet can be effective for weight loss is because it encourages the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods are generally lower in calories compared to processed foods and can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Additionally, the diet promotes healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts, which provide satiety and can prevent overeating.

Another aspect of the Mediterranean Diet that contributes to weight loss is its focus on mindful eating. This means paying attention to hunger cues, eating slowly, and savouring each bite. By practising mindful eating, you become more aware of your body’s signals of fullness and are less likely to overeat. Furthermore, the social aspect of sharing meals with family or friends can also promote healthier eating habits and portion control.

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Addressing High Blood Pressure Amid Zimbabwe’s Economic Challenges



High Blood Pressure In Zimbabwe

Exploring Affordable Solutions to Reduce and Prevent Hypertension in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, like many developing nations, is facing the dual burden of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension and economic challenges. Hypertension poses a significant health risk to the population, and finding feasible solutions within the constraints of the country’s economic situation becomes crucial. This article aims to shed light on the issue and explore potential strategies to reduce and prevent high blood pressure in Zimbabwe.

High blood pressure affects a considerable number of Zimbabweans, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health complications. Factors contributing to hypertension include poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress, and limited access to healthcare services. Furthermore, the economic situation in the country adds additional hurdles to addressing this health concern.

Considering the economic constraints, here are some solutions that can be pursued to help reduce and prevent high blood pressure in Zimbabwe:

  • Promoting Public Awareness: Creating targeted awareness campaigns to educate the public about the risks associated with hypertension and its prevention is crucial. Collaborating with community leaders, healthcare professionals, and local organisations can help disseminate information through various channels, including community gatherings, radio programs, and social media platforms.
  • Emphasising Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Encouraging individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles plays a pivotal role in preventing high blood pressure. Despite economic limitations, promoting regular physical activity, such as walking or jogging, can be done at little to no cost. Raising awareness about the importance of a balanced diet, including affordable locally-grown fruits and vegetables, can also contribute to healthier choices.
  • Affordable Blood Pressure Monitoring: Facilitating access to affordable blood pressure monitoring devices can empower individuals to take control of their health. Partnering with medical suppliers and organisations to negotiate reduced prices or establish community-based blood pressure screening centres can make monitoring more accessible to the general population.
  • Strengthening Primary Healthcare: Given the economic constraints, focusing on strengthening primary healthcare services can provide more affordable and accessible hypertension management options. Training healthcare workers in community clinics to diagnose and manage high blood pressure effectively, as well as providing low-cost or generic medications, can significantly improve the situation.
  • Leveraging Technology for Telemedicine: Exploring the use of telemedicine can overcome barriers caused by limited healthcare infrastructure. Implementing teleconsultation services can enable remote monitoring and management of hypertension, reducing the need for frequent visits to healthcare facilities and associated costs.
  • Government Support and Partnerships: The government should prioritise healthcare, even amidst economic challenges, by allocating resources to preventive measures. Collaborating with international organisations and NGOs to secure funding, expertise, and support can go a long way in addressing high blood pressure in Zimbabwe.

It is important to acknowledge that reducing high blood pressure in Zimbabwe requires a multi-faceted approach involving individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and government stakeholders. By combining efforts, even within the limitations of the economic situation, progress can be made towards a healthier population, mitigating the burden of hypertension on individuals and the healthcare system.

In conclusion, high blood pressure poses a significant health risk in Zimbabwe, compounded by economic challenges. However, by focusing on public awareness, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, ensuring affordable blood pressure monitoring, strengthening primary healthcare, leveraging technology, and securing government support, progress can be achieved in reducing and preventing hypertension. It is essential to prioritise the health of the population, even in challenging economic times, for a healthier future for Zimbabwe.

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