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National Health Emergency in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has declared a national health emergency due to a cholera epidemic during the country's economic crisis, the Associated Press has reported.

The Minister of Health, David Parirenyatwa, was quoted as saying, "Our hospitals are literally not functioning."

The emergency was declared at a meeting of government and international aid officials in Harare. Parirenyatwa appealed for money, drugs, food and equipment for the hospitals in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations has estimated the deaths from the cholera outbreak at over 500. A lack of water treatment and broken sewage pipes are to blame for the outbreak.

Walter Mzembi, the deputy water minister, said the country only had enough chemicals to treat the water for 12 more weeks.

Various agencies are pledging to help with the crisis in Zimbabwe. The European Commission said it was providing more than $12 million for drugs and clean water.

Zimbabwe has been paralyzed since disputed elections in March. The country is suffering from the world's highest inflation and daily shortages of food and basic goods.