Oxfam America Receives $1 Million From Gates Foundation to Fight Cholera

Oxfam America has announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to respond to a deadly cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.

The grant will help Oxfam provide safe water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene to some 135,000 individuals; boost efforts to teach community members to effectively identify the disease, seek treatment, and prevent contamination of others; and establish community-based Cholera Early Warning Systems to collect data and identify potential risks to water sources and reduce the spread of the waterborne disease.

A result of a breakdown in basic health, water, and sanitation services in Zimbabwe, the outbreak has killed more than 1,600 people and infected over 33,000 since August, according to the World Health Organization.

"This funding will help save lives and prevent further suffering to hundreds of thousands of people in Zimbabwe," said Oxfam America president Raymond C. Offenheiser. "With the oncoming rainy season, an already devastating cholera outbreak could become catastrophic unless issues of unsafe water and sanitation are addressed."

"Oxfam America Awarded $1 Million for Cholera Response in Zimbabwe." Oxfam America Press Release 01/07/2009.