Gwanda records 25 cases of diarrhoea
OFFICIALS in Gwanda are on a high alert for cholera outbreak although they have assured the town residents that no cases have been reported yet, despite recording 25 cases of diarrhoea last week.
The Government has declared a state of emergency following a cholera outbreak that has claimed 27 lives in Harare while more than 4 600 people are suspected to have contracted the disease.
Isolated cases have also been reported in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces, all traced back to Harare as the epicentre. In an interview, Gwanda Hospital medical superintendent Dr Pugy Chimberengwa said about 25 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded over the past week and they were under control.
“We haven’t received any typhoid and cholera cases in Gwanda although we have seen an upsurge in diarrhoea cases over the past week. We recorded about 25 cases this past week and the numbers are still increasing. Preliminary investigations have shown that these cases are mainly coming from high density suburbs in Gwanda with a few cases coming from mining areas.
“These could have been the cases that led to the circulation of this false information. We had two cases of diarrhoea on Wednesday which we suspected were cholera related but we carried out tests and I can confirm that they are not cholera cases. One of these patients had recently travelled to GlenView area in Harare,” he said.
Dr Chimberengwa said the hospital was, however, prepared to deal with cases of cholera and typhoid in case of an outbreak.
He said several strategies had been put in place. He said two cholera treatment camps had been set up.
“We cannot rule out that there is a cholera outbreak in the country and therefore we have to be vigilant. We met with the Gwanda Municipality and have put up measures such as resuscitating our cholera preparedness response. We have put in place two cholera treatment camps; one at the hospital and the other at Phakama Clinic which is located in the high density areas.
“We are also working on our laboratory to ensure that we have necessary consumables. In addition we are working on testing our staff ’s competency so that they are better prepared. We have also engaged in an education drive around Gwanda where we are disseminating information to the community about cholera,” he said.
Dr Chimberengwa said they had also carried out an assessment on the quality of water and it is safe.
He urged residents to practise hygiene and adhere to information that was being disseminated on preventing cholera. He urged people to boil drinking water, consume food while hot, wash hands with soap and running water, avoid sharing dish towels and avoid shaking hands.
Gwanda District ChimberengwaHospitalMedicalSuperintendentDrPugy