Women in cholera fight . . . schools on high alert

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent Lo­ca­dia Mavhudzi Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

WOMEN’S Coali­tion in Zim­babwe (Mid­lands Chap­ter) is in­ten­si­fy­ing aware­ness on di­ar­rhoeal diseases con­trol as most towns and cities in the province con­tinue to record iso­lated cases of bac­te­rial diseases such as ty­phoid and cholera.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­cently held a meet­ing with health ex­perts from Gov­ern­ment, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and se­lected women lead­ers from Gweru, Shu­rugwi and Zvisha­vane.

The meet­ing was meant to en­hance health knowl­edge among ru­ral and ur­ban women in the face of threat­en­ing di­ar­rhoeal dis­ease out­breaks.

Speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, WCOZ (Mid­lands Chap­ter) chair­per­son Alice Maqata said women were the health cus­to­di­ans in the home re­spon­si­ble for cook­ing and hy­giene which could be cat­a­lysts in dis­ease trans­mis­sion.

“The woman is the bur­den bearer in the house,” she said. SCHOOLS have in­ten­si­fied di­ar­rhoeal dis­ease sur­veil­lance and mon­i­tor­ing as iso­lated cases of cholera and ty­phoid con­tinue to be recorded in most dis­tricts across the province.

A cholera out­break has been recorded in Gokwe North and treat­ment camps have been set up.

Mid­lands provin­cial ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Mrs Agnes Gudo said the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor has in­creased teacher and pupil knowl­edge about di­ar­rhoeal diseases and quick re­port­ing mech­a­nism in case of any sus­pected cholera or ty­phoid out­break.

“Last week, as schools were open­ing, we trained all teach­ers, board­ing masters

“If we spread pre­ven­tive knowl­edge among women, then half the job is done and food han­dlers on hy­giene. We have part­nered with the health min­istry and we are round­ing up all schools to raise aware­ness amongst all learn­ers from early child­hood level,” she said.

Mrs Gudo said they are also spread­ing dis­ease alert mes­sages to pri­vate schools and preschools around Gweru fol­low­ing the ty­phoid out­break.

“Through our part­ner­ship with the health min­istry we are get­ting into all pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties be it pri­vate schools and preschools.

“We re­alise that chil­dren are highly mo­bile and vul­ner­a­ble to trans­mit di­ar­rhoeal diseases. We are also giv­ing lit­er­a­ture with health and hy­giene mes­sages,” she said.

in terms of dis­ease con­trol.” Wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion ex­pert with Ger­man Agro Ac­tion, Mrs Odrie Ziro, said en­vi­ron­men­tal hy­giene was crit­i­cal as dirty spaces at­tracted a lot of flies.

“Both ur­ban and ru­ral homes should prac­tice hy­giene,” she said.

“Hand wash­ing is im­per­a­tive. We have re­alised poor prac­tices in food han­dling.

“Imag­ine you do not wash your hands af­ter milk­ing your cows in Shu­rugwi and then you move to han­dle food.

“Even in towns, some women are into food vend­ing. May you com­ply with the reg­u­la­tions or de­sist from food busi­nesses un­der the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment.”

The province has stepped up ef­forts to re­spond to a cholera out­break that has since been de­tected in some parts of Gokwe.

The Min­istry of Health and Child Care has al­ready set a cholera treat­ment camp in Gokwe North as part of its rapid re­sponse and case de­tec­tion pro­cesses are ongoing.

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