Con­cern over new signs, symp­toms

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Se­nior Health Re­porter Paidamoyo Chipunza

GOV­ERN­MENT has ex­pressed con­cern over the num­ber of peo­ple still pre­sent­ing with cholera signs and symp­toms, de­spite vac­ci­na­tion against the di­ar­rhoeal disease that started last week.

Epi­demi­ol­ogy and disease con­trol di­rec­tor in the Min­istry of Health and Child Care Dr Por­tia Manangazira said as of Tues­day, 40 new cases had been re­ported in Glen View and Budiriro, Harare.

She said two other sus­pected cases were re­ported in Chi­tung­wiza.

Dr Manangazira said the num­ber of new cases was an­tic­i­pated to go down be­cause vac­ci­na­tion was also un­der­way.

“We ex­pect vac­ci­na­tion to be ef­fec­tive from seven to 14 days, but what has been hap­pen­ing in Budiriro and Glen View is that even the turn up for vac­ci­na­tion was lower than other sub­urbs,” she said.

“We hope that res­i­dents will take heed of our call to get vac­ci­nated.”

Glen View and Budiriro are the epi­cen­tre of the cholera out­break that has claimed 49 lives mainly in Harare.

As of Tues­day, 63 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in Budiriro had been vac­ci­nated against cholera, while Glen View health teams had vac­ci­nated 81 per­cent of res­i­dents there.

Dr Manangazira said al­though ef­fec­tive pub­lic health in­ter­ven­tion re­quired a vac­ci­na­tion rate of over 80 per­cent, Gov­ern­ment was sat­is­fied that those vac­ci­nated would be able to pro­tect oth­ers.

She said vac­ci­na­tion sup­port teams had been de­ployed to cholera treat­ment cen­tres to mon­i­tor the vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus of those pre­sent­ing with signs and symp­toms of the disease.

Dr Manangazira said since the be­gin­ning of the vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme, no ma­jor side ef­fects had been recorded.

“Yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) we vac­ci­nated Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and we did not en­counter any ma­jor side ef­fects,” she said. “We have also been get­ting re­ports from our team ma­jors and we have not heard of any side ef­fects.”

Dr Manangazira said even in coun­tries such as Zam­bia where the vac­ci­na­tion had been used be­fore, no ma­jor side ef­fects had been re­ported.

Zim­babwe looks for­ward to vac­ci­nat­ing about 1,4 mil­lion res­i­dents against cholera from 13 se­lected high-den­sity sub­urbs in Harare, Chi­tung­wiza and Ep­worth.

Budiriro and Glen View sub­urbs con­cluded vac­ci­na­tions against cholera yes­ter­day, while Ep­worth and Chi­tung­wiza are sched­uled to be­gin on Oc­to­ber 15 and 17, re­spec­tively.

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