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Sharon Mazingaizo

Sharon Mazingaizo

Nelson Chamisa’s resignation: A blow to Zimbabwe's youth hope and political frustration.

By Sharon Mazingaizo.

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa resigned from his CCC party two years to after its formation. The resignation made the country’s youth more disillusioned and frustrated with the opposition party.

 

 

In a statement, Chamisa said the CCC party has been “contaminated, bastardised, hijacked.”

 

 

Chamisa, 45, an ordained church pastor and trained lawyer, is popular and appeals to the young people in the country, with people under age 35 making up more than 60 percent Zimbabwe’s population.

 

 

The country’s youth are the hardest hit by the economic crisis, characterised by unemployment and hyper-inflation.

 

 

The news of Chamisa’s resignation triggered a growing sense of discontent, frustration, and despair. Talent, 32, said he had thrown away his vote.

 

 

“I don’t have confidence in CCC. I feel our efforts waiting in long voting queues have gone to waste. I partially blame the CCC for not setting party structures, not strategizing well to stand against Zanu PF as well and for lack of unity direction on the top leadership,” said Talent.

 

 

“I am disappointed with the opposition party and in Chamisa. We did our part, cast our vote. The resignation feels like betrayal,” said Susan Saki.

 

 

As Zimbabwe’s youth look towards an uncertain future and political instability, many are leaving the country in search of opportunities elsewhere.

 

 

“I am leaving. There is no hope here, the economy and politics are not working. I am going to look for a future elsewhere,” said Rutendo.

Zimbabwe's Fight Against Cholera: WHO and UK Government Join Forces to Establish Life-Saving Treatment Centres.

By Sharon Mazingaizo.

Zimbabwe is facing a surge in cholera cases, with reports of over 18,000 cases, 71 confirmed deaths, and more than 300 suspected deaths across all 10 provinces.

As of 16 January, 396 people had been hospitalised, the ministry of health announced.

Zimbabwe reported its first cholera case in February 2023 in Chegutu, about 100km west of the capital Harare.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has been assisting the Zimbabwe government with decentralized treatment centres to tackle the cholera outbreak with the support of the United Kingdom government.

Cholera treatment centers have been established and are currently functioning in Highfields and Budiriro polyclinics in Harare. The treatment centres have a 10-bed capacities and supplies for 100 cases.

 

 

“We need to stay vigilant. But there is an urgent need to stop business as usual. This cholera outbreak started in February 2023. We didn’t manage to control and stop it. The outbreak is now getting to another level. Immediate, strong and innovative actions are needed now,” said Prof Jean-Marie Dangou, WHO representative to Zimbabwe.

 

 

Pete Vowles, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that the United Kingdom has provided funding and technical help to fight the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.

 

 

“The UK government has already provided US$764,000 and technical help to the cholera response through its partners Start Fund, Goal, Christian Aid, WHO and UNICEF. With the European Union and Ireland we will contribute a further US$3 million to the Health Resilience Fund, which is proving tents, treatment centres, case management, WASH kits and oral rehydration,” said Vowles.

 

 

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling water crisis. Residents go for weeks without running water. Broken sewer systems, inadequate sanitation, and contaminated water sources are attributed to causing the disease outbreak.

The Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS) reveals that 33% of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence, while approximately 25% have experienced sexual violence since age 15. As 16 days of activism against gender-based violence begin, the campaign takes place from November 25 (International day of No Violence Against Women) to December 10 (international Human Rights Day), Vimbainashe Mutendereki, executive director at Musasa said there has been a rise in GBV cases in the country.

 

“Women and girls who come to Musasa have experienced various forms of violence - physical, sexual, emotional or economic violence all bring survivors to Musasa to receive services. Musasa has been assisting close to 40,000 women every year through our direct services, which include counselling, shelter, toll free call centre, legal services, health services and others,” said Mutendereki.

 

“Women with disabilities are at a heightened risk of violence, during humanitarian crises like floods or droughts again women have increased vulnerability. Young women are also at a heightened risk of violence,” she said.

According to NGO, the number of violence against women, cases in Zimbabwe, is still increasing.

 

In Zimbabwe, 40 percent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical and sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partners, including 19 percent who suffered such violence during the previous 12 months, according to a report Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

 

In March 2022, authorities arrested a 30-year-old man for raping and brutally murdering ten women in Marondera, Mashonaland East Province. 

 

Child marriage is also prevalent in Zimbabwe, one in 3 girls in the country is married before the age of 18.

Beyond the Shadows: The Reality of Physical and Sexual Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

By  Sharon Mazingaizo

Zimbabwe is recording an increase in domestic violence and gender-based violence (GBV). The most common form of violence that women experience in the country are sexual violence, intimate partner violence and child marriage. 

 

According to Musasa, an NGO working to empower women and girl survivors of domestic violence and abuse said in 2019 it assisted 32,707 survivors of gender-based violence. In 2020, the number shot to  40,536. In 2022, it has recorded 39,827 cases of gender-based violence. 

 By Sharon Mazingaizo.

According to the UNICEF report “Child Food Poverty: Nutrition Deprivation in Early Childhood,” 25% of children in Zimbabwe are affected by severe child food poverty. UNICEF defines child food poverty as children’s inability to access and consume a nutritious and diverse diet in early childhood that is the first five years of life.

 

Among children living in severe child food poverty, four out of five are fed only breastmilk and/or dairy products and/or a starchy staple, such as rice, maize or wheat. Less than 10% are  fed fruits and vegetables and less than 5% are fed eggs, meat, poultry and fish. The report said  children living in severe child food poverty are missing out on many nutrient-rich foods, while unhealthy foods are becoming entrenched in their diets.

 

The UNICEF analysis  identified three major drivers of severe child food poverty that are poor food environments for children, poor feeding practices in early childhood, and household income poverty affecting children and their families.

 

In Eastern and Southern Africa 73 million children under 5 are living in child food poverty of which 28 million children under 5 are living in severe child food poverty.

 

Globally, one in four children are living in severe child food poverty in early childhood, amounting to 181 million children under 5 years of age.

 

To end child food poverty, UNICEF called on governments, development and humanitarian organizations, donors, civil society and the food and beverage industry to:

 

Transform food systems so that nutritious, diverse and healthy foods are the most accessible, affordable and desirable option for caregivers to feed young children.

 

Leverage health systems to deliver essential nutrition services to prevent and treat malnutrition in early childhood, including support for community health and nutrition workers to counsel parents and families on child feeding and care practices.

 

Activate social protection systems to address income poverty through social transfers (cash, food and vouchers), in ways that are responsive to the food and nutrition needs of vulnerable children and their families.

25% of Children in Zimbabwe are affected by severe child food poverty in early childhood.

 

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Zimbabwe.

Many women in Zimbabwe face socioeconomic barriers to accessing oncology care, chemotherapy and other treatments for breast cancer. Over 80% of breast cancer cases in Zimbabwe were diagnosed at advanced stages, according to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (ZNCR).  

 

Limited access to screening services and lack of adequate knowledge of the symptoms and signs of breast cancer are other barriers faced by women in Zimbabwe.

Consistently working towards increasing awareness about breast cancer year-round is necessary. Awareness empowers women to understand the importance of screening, early detection, early signs and symptoms to look out for and seek medical attention early.

Breast cancer symptoms and signs in women:

·        a lump, or swelling in your breast, chest or armpit.

·        a change in the skin of your breast, such as dimpling (may look like orange peel) or redness 

         (may be harder to see on black or brown skin).

·        a change in size or shape of one or both breasts.

·        nipple discharge (if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding), which may have blood in it.

·        a change in the shape or look of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast. or a rash on it (may look like eczema).

·        pain in your breast or armpit which does not go away – breast pain that comes and goes is usually not a symptom of breast            cancer. It’s important to check your breast regularly so you know that is normal for you. Source NHS.

Socioeconomic Barriers of Breast Cancer Care in Zimbabwe. Over 80% of breast cancer cases in Zimbabwe are diagnosed at advanced stages.

By Sharon Mazingaizo

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