First Lady, Econet combat cholera

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa will lend her weight to Econet Wireless Group’s month-long clean-up effort launched in Harare’s high-density suburbs of Glen View and Budiriro last week.

Health authorities have identified the suburbs as epicentres of a cholera outbreak that has claimed 54 lives since in two months.

The First Lady’s Office reportedly confirmed she planned to join hundreds of volunteers some time this week to work in areas worst affected by cholera.

“Indeed, the First Lady plans to spend some time on the ground this coming week, working with partners and communities living in the areas that have been worst affected by the cholera outbreak,” an official in her office said.

The effort is fronted by Higherlife Foundation, a non-profit organisation funded by Econet Wireless, which has given over $15 million to fight cholera.

The foundation, led by Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa, has been working with the Health and Local Government ministries, the City of Harare and other public and private institutions to offer support.

Part of the support includes medication, protective clothing and fresh water supplies.

A representative of Econet in Zimbabwe — whose CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni and Higherlife Foundation CEO Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa, launched the month-long “Arise and Shine” clean-up campaign – said their aim was to make “a sustainable impact in fighting this epidemic”.

“You can therefore expect to see very senior representation from Econet and Higherlife Foundation on the ground in Glen View and Budiriro this month, working alongside the 300 local volunteers we have trained there, and spreading the message of environmental awareness, public hygiene and behaviour change such as safe litter disposal practices, that bring about cleanliness and prevent future disease outbreaks.”