Cholera death toll rises to 10

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - De­bra Matabvu

THE death toll from the cur­rent cholera out­break in Harare’s high-den­sity sub­urbs of Glen View and Budiriro has risen to 10, with health of­fi­cials trac­ing the source of the disease to a burst sewer pipe that was con­tam­i­nat­ing bore­hole water used by res­i­dents in the af­fected ar­eas, the Harare City Coun­cil (HCC) said yes­ter­day.

There are fears that the di­ar­rhoeal disease, which has been con­firmed in Glen View and Budiriro, could have spread to Glen No­rah.

By end of day yes­ter­day, 320 peo­ple had been hos­pi­talised.

Two hun­dred and twenty three pa­tients are presently ad­mit­ted in Glen View, while 100 are re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at Beatrice Road In­fec­tious Dis­eases Hospi­tal.

Bore­holes in the af­flicted ar­eas have since been decom­mis­sioned.

Fur­ther, cholera vac­cines are set to be dis­pensed this week.

HCC health di­rec­tor Dr Cle­mence Duri said au­thor­i­ties con­tinue to mon­i­tor the af­fected ar­eas.

“The death toll has risen to 10 af­ter five more peo­ple died to­day (yes­ter­day) morn­ing. Of the five, one was from Glen No­rah, while the oth­ers are from Glen View,” he said.

“Although we are not yet sure of the cause of death of the one from Glen No­rah, we are sus­pect­ing it is cholera.

“We have es­tab­lished that the out­break was caused by a burst sewer pipe which con­tam­i­nated bore­hole water. We have, how­ever, rec­ti­fied the sit­u­a­tion and re­placed the pipe.

“As of to­day (yes­ter­day), 223 cases of cholera had been con­firmed in Glen View, while about 100 cases had been con­firmed at Beatrice In­fec­tious Road Hospi­tal. Some of the pa­tients were be­ing treated and dis­charged.

“We have since decom­mis­sioned two bore­holes in Glen View and we will con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing the area.”

Di­rec­tor of Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Disease Con­trol in the Min­istry of Health and Child Care Dr Por­tia Manangazira said Gov­ern­ment is now on high alert and will soon sub­mit a pro­posal to in­tro­duce cholera vac­cines in high-risk ar­eas across the coun­try.

“We re­alise that the cases are on the rise, thus we will be on high alert na­tion­wide given the sea­son that we are in and that the rain sea­son is ap­proach­ing,” she said.

“We are go­ing to sub­mit a pro­posal for cholera vac­cines in some ar­eas that we have mapped up as high risk ar­eas for cholera.”

In Au­gust, seven peo­ple died af­ter a ty­phoid out­break in Gweru.

The Min­istry of Health and Child Care con­demned Gweru City Coun­cil water as un­safe for hu­man con­sump­tion.

It is sus­pected that the water was con­tam­i­nated by sewage, which found its way into water pipes.

Most MDC-run coun­cils have been crit­i­cised for fail­ing to pro­vide ef­fec­tive ser­vice de­liv­ery.

Water sup­plies in most ur­ban ar­eas such as Harare and Gweru have been in­ter­mit­tent, with res­i­dents re­sort­ing to un­pro­tected water sources.

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