Cholera case in Beitbridge
A CASE of cholera has been reported in Beitbridge district in Matabeleland South Province with health officials from the area saying measures are being put in place to contain it.
Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director, Dr Chido Chikodzore confirmed the case which was recorded on Wednesday evening at the Beitbridge District Hospital during a Provincial Development Committee meeting that was held in Gwanda on Thursday.
She said the patient was in a stable condition and a team had been deployed to trace the source of the disease in order to contain it. Dr Chikodzore said cases of diarrhoea had also recently increased especially in Gwanda and Beitbridge.
“We recorded a case of cholera in Beitbridge last night (Wednesday) at 9pm. A rapid diagnostic test came out positive and we are now awaiting laboratory results. The patient is stable and staff at the hospital are monitoring his condition.
“The patient is from Chafushe area which is about 25 kilometres from Beitbridge Town along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway and he fell ill while working at an irrigation site. A district team has already gone on the ground to investigate the source of the disease and contain the situation so that we don’t record more cases and tomorrow as a provincial health executive team we will also go on the ground to assist,” she said.
Dr Chikodzore said the province had recorded cases of contaminated borehole water and they were under control as efforts had been made to treat the water. She said following the outbreak of cholera in Harare the province had strengthened its surveillance system and put in place measures to deal with an outbreak in case it was recorded.
“Following reports of a cholera outbreak in Harare we notified all our districts to activate their Emergency Preparedness Response plans. On Saturday the provincial health executive visited various health facilities to check on their preparedness. We then mobilised resources, set up cholera treatment centres and prepared our labs. We are getting daily situational analysis reports from all districts and we are on the lookout for any other cholera cases. We also strengthened our surveillance system which showed that diarrhoea cases were on the increase with over 200 recorded in the province in the past week and in Gwanda and Beitbridge they were above the threshold,” she said.
Dr Chikodzore said they were investigating diarrhoeal diseases on a weekly basis to ensure none were cholera related. She said they had also heightened surveillance of water sources. She said various ports of entry in the province had also been assessed.
Provincial heads of departments that attended the meeting appealed with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ban transportation of fruits from red zone areas to areas that had not recorded cholera cases in order to stop the disease from spreading.
Also speaking during the meeting, Matabeleland South Provincial District Administrator, Ms Sithandiwe Ncube urged various stakeholders to emphasise the importance of maintaining hygiene in communities. In an interview after the meeting Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director (PED) Mr Lifias Masukume said they had informed school heads to suspend educational trips to other areas. About 32 cholera deaths have been confirmed while close to 7 000 cases have been recorded.