Women in cholera fight . . . schools on high alert
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.