Typhoid outbreak spreads to Budiriro, Glen View
THE typhoid outbreak has spread to Budiriro and Glen View suburbs amid reports that the MDC-T led Harare City Council bungled on its 48-hour ultimatum of removing illegal food vendors from the streets.
The ultimatum expired on Thursday. Two cases had been confirmed in each of the two suburbs as of yesterday.
Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi said as from Tuesday, confirmed cases of typhoid had gone up from 22 to 25.
Dr Chonzi also said 320 people had presented themselves for screening from the previous 280, while suspected cases of typhoid rose to 150 from 132.
He said he expected the numbers to rise as the city was still awaiting results from the laboratory.
“We fear for further typhoid outbreaks as the drivers of the disease are still to be dealt with,” he said. “We are expecting more results as there are specimens which are still in the laboratory.”
The city, which is grappling to combat typhoid through banning food vending, failed to enforce the ban.
A survey by The Herald in the central business district and other parts of Harare showed that vendors defied the ultimatum as it was business “as usual” all over the capital yesterday.
Pushcart fruit and vegetable vendors were busy cashing in on their produce while those who roast maize occupied their usual spots. Meat vendors were busy at their usual selling points.
Harare acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said everything was shaping up as council and the police were going ahead with their operation.
Quizzed on whether council had issued the ultimatum prematurely, without putting strategies in place, Mr Chideme said: “We have enlisted police support to help us implement our by-laws. We have completed the mapping and surveillance of the areas we are going to enforce.
“We have adequately deployed to ensure the exercise does not flop. We cannot disclose to you how and what time we going to react to non-movement from the streets.”
Vendors’ associations a fortnight ago blasted council over its failure of correcting the drivers of typhoid such as collection of garbage, provision of clean water and improving the drainage system, which was conceded by Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who said poor service delivery by the local author-
ity had contributed immensely to the spread of several water-borne diseases.
Residents’ associations yesterday castigated local authorities for implementing measures which were not sustainable and urged them to focus on methods that yielded positive results.
Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) called on the local authority to address the major drivers of typhoid instead of concentrating on window-dressing measures like the “war on vendors”.
Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) said residents of the town were now fearing a repeat of the 2008 cholera and typhoid outbreaks, which affected a number of families and resulted in hundreds losing lives.