Zimbabwe’s finance minister took the unusual step of launching a crowdfunding campaign to fight the current cholera and typhoid outbreak.
The outbreak began on September 6, and the government declared a state of emergency on September 10. As of last week, 25 people have died, while 3,766 others have received treatment.
The call for support has seen positive responses so far: Econet Wireless, headquartered in South Africa, has pledged $10 million, the President’s Fund has set aside $100,000, and an automobile dealership donated a truck for logistical support.
Donated funds could be used to buy cholera vaccines, improve water and sanitation, and hire additional emergency staff.
Finance Minister Dr. Mthuli Ncube announced the crowdfunding campaign in a tweet last week, declaring: “Together we can win!”
Not all Zimbabweans are supportive. Some have taken to social media saying the government should not be asking for money from cash-strapped citizens.
A previous cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe in 2008 and 2009 saw 98,585 reported cases and more than 4,000 deaths.
Sources: The Herald (Zimbabwe), All Africa