Saturday, January 07, 2017

Zimbabwe Typhoid Cases Up
January 7, 2017
Innocent Ruwende
Municipal Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Suspected typhoid cases in Harare have risen to 250, up from 126 documented on Tuesday, while the number of confirmed cases has surged to 22. On Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases was 12.The number of patients admitted at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital has declined to 13 from 19, with Harare City Council Health Services Department attributing the development to early treatment. Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi was on Thursday optimistic that if residents continued to come early for treatment, the outbreak would be curbed.

“We have 250 suspected cases now,” he said. “The increase is as a result of community mobilisation that is taking place. “Of those, 22 have now been confirmed to be having typhoid, concentrated in Mbare from around 4th Street up to 9th Street.

“The number of fatalities remains at two. Those that are admitted today at Beatrice Road Infectious Hospital are 13. “The numbers are decreasing because people are now presenting themselves earlier for treatment, meaning the disease will be less complicated.

“If it continues like that, we surely hope there won’t be any more fatalities.”

Harare City Council has contributed 76 percent of the overall typhoid cases countrywide and this has led to the establishment of a treatment camp at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa has since attributed the scourge to erratic water supply in some parts of Harare, including Mbare, poor refuse collection, numerous sewer blockages and spillages and the increase in travellers using Mbare Musika bus terminus where people arrive and depart to many parts of the country.

He said there were also many vendors in undesignated areas selling perishables and food supplies, generating lots of garbage and leading to the disease spreading.

Minister Parirenyatwa said a number of measures should be taken to avoid the spread of diarrhoea and other water borne diseases, among them avoiding drinking water from unsafe sources, boiling water from unprotected sources, using water purification chemicals and washing hands with soap or ash under running water before handling food.

Dr Parirenyatwa said $250 000 was required for refuse removal and collection as well as rehabilitation of sewer systems in Harare. Government has since formed an Inter-ministerial Committee to address typhoid and the spread of diarrhoeal diseases in Harare.

The committee is made up of Minister Parirenyatwa, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere, who also represented the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and the Mayor of Harare Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni.

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