Mnene Hospi­tal ‘source’ of cholera out­break

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mun­yaradzi Musi­iwa Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

MNENE Mis­sion Hospi­tal in Mberengwa is sus­pected to be the source of a cholera out­break that has killed three peo­ple in Cho­mubobo Re­set­tle­ment Area in Mberengwa, af­ter sam­ples taken from a river which is the main wa­ter source for peo­ple in the area was found to be con­tam­i­nated.

It is sus­pected that raw sewer from the Lutheran-run hospi­tal con­tam­i­nated Mnene River.

“These are ru­ral ar­eas and Mnene Mis­sion Hospi­tal is the only in­sti­tu­tion up stream that has sewage. So it is sus­pected that it dis­charged raw sewer into an open stream,” said a source.

Mberengwa North Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Cde Tafanana Zhou said sam­ples taken from the river showed that the wa­ter was con­tam­i­nated.

Cde Zhou said the wa­ter was likely to have been con­tam­i­nated from up­stream.

“Peo­ple in the area fetch wa­ter from the river be­cause the bore­hole which they re­lied on broke down. So sam­ples taken from the river where they were get­ting wa­ter showed that the wa­ter was con­tam­i­nated. We are not sure where this is com­ing from but it is high likely that the wa­ter was con­tam­i­nated up the stream,” he said.

Cde Zhou said the sit­u­a­tion in Mberengwa had im­proved and most af­fected vil­lagers had been treated and dis­charged.

“The cases were about 10. Some have been treated and dis­charged. We are ap­peal­ing to well-wish­ers and the cor­po­rate world to as­sist us in sink­ing bore­holes in the area so that peo­ple get clean wa­ter,” he said.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Mid­lands provin­cial med­i­cal di­rec­tor Dr Si­mon Nyadundu said the Min­istry of Health and Child Care was still to es­tab­lish the ac­tual source.

“The wa­ter was con­tam­i­nated but we can­not say it is Mnene Mis­sion Hospi­tal be­cause we haven’t es­tab­lished that yet. This is the first in­ci­dent and we can’t say it is Mnene un­less this hap­pens on sev­eral other oc­ca­sions. We are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” he said.

Cholera has since claimed three lives from 10 cases recorded since the out­break on Tues­day last week.

Govern­ment has since re­sponded by set­ting up cholera treat­ment camps in Cho­mubobo area and at Mnene Mis­sion Hospi­tal.

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