Chavez calls for aid to Zimbabwe amid cholera outbreak

CARACAS, (Xinhua) — Venezuelan strongman President Hugo Chavez Friday called for international aid for Zimbabwe as a cholera outbreak has killed over 970 people in the African country.

Venezuela would like to extend its "condolences to the relatives of the victims and offers its solidarity in this difficult moment," said a statement of the country’s foreign ministry.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressed full support for his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe and called on the international community to provide medicines and medical teams to help combat the cholera epidemic.

At least 1100 people have been killed by the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, according to UN statistics.

So far 18,413 suspected cases have been reported in different parts of the African country, with a case fatality rate of 5.3 percent, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The disease broke out in August. The number of cases could finally surpass 60,000, according to estimates by the World Health Organization.