Common Diseases in Zimbabwe

Common Diseases in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is an African country situated just above South Africa. Known for their rich culture and sense of community, Zimbabwe is the twenty-second poorest nation in the world, according to Business Insider.

With 66% of Zimbabweans working in agriculture, it is not uncommon for diseases with agricultural origins to spread. Here are some of the most common diseases in Zimbabwe for those working in agriculture:


Cholera is a contaminated food- or water-borne disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Both of these symptoms can lead to dehydration and even death. Between August 2008 and July 2009, there was a massive cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. According to World Nomads, “cholera deaths have decreased recently, although the disease is still present and may break out again with little warning.”


This terrifying disease spreads through mosquitos. For Zimbabweans working in the fields, malaria is a highly possible occurrence and “a major killer across Africa.” Protection from this deadly disease is a simple mosquito net. However, with the average African living on about $3 a day, even a tool that could save their lives is too costly.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread in the saliva of infected animals.” Working outside with livestock, Zimbabweans in agriculture can be very prone to this terminal disease.

Although these three common diseases in Zimbabwe are especially susceptible to those in agriculture, anybody in Zimbabwe could become infected with them. Here are some of the other common diseases in Zimbabwe that could affect everyone:


Zimbabwe has a very high rate of HIV/AIDS. According to World Nomads, “15 percent of the population has the virus,” and it is the number one killer of people in Zimbabwe. This sexually-transmitted disease is incredibly harmful and a huge issue in many African countries.


Typhoid fever is very similar to cholera in that this disease spreads through the intake of unclean food or water. However, typhoid is not always as serious as cholera. Symptoms of typhoid include high fever, weakness and stomach pains, but rarely death.


Measles starts when an infected person sneezes or coughs, and continues with fever, cough and red patches on the body. Although there has been some progress on the measles disease, it is still among common diseases in Zimbabwe. In the 1990s, “measles was considered one of the five major causes of morbidity and mortality among children aged <5 years,” according to the CDC.

These common diseases in Zimbabwe are an issue in the everyday lives of natives. With increased education and aid, these health problems will become a thing of the past.

Sydney Missigman

Photo: Flickr