Gwanda records 25 cases of di­ar­rhoea

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

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.

@DubeMatutu

Gwanda District Chim­berengwaHos­pi­talMed­i­calSu­per­in­ten­dentDrPugy

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