City steps up war on typhoid

Mrs Ncube

Mrs Ncube

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Harare City Council is supplying Mbare with running water on a daily basis as well repairing all the burst sewer pipes to contain the typhoid outbreak in the oldest suburb, Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube has said. As of yesterday, 15 people were still admitted at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital after the setting up of a 24-hour clinic to manage the typhoid outbreak.

Responding to questions during a mid-term review of the City of Harare rapid results initiatives in the capital yesterday, Mrs Ncube said although it was common knowledge that demand for water in Harare had outstripped supply, strategies to reduce non-revenue water as well as encouraging people to pay for the supply rendered had managed to increase water supplies.

“We have to ensure that there is more running water in all the places, particularly in Mbare where we have the problem of typhoid. We are repairing the sewer pipes to make sure that they are functional.

“We are also encouraging people to exercise good hygiene. Boreholes are a fall-back position, but in some cases, we have actually seen contamination in the boreholes. Some people believe that borehole water is safe. We are working with partners to put chlorination in a number of boreholes and where we have found that the water is not safe, we have decommissioned those boreholes,” she said.

Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi said suspected typhoid cases now stood at 600, while the numbers of people coming through treatment camps at Matapi Hostels was decreasing. Dr Chonzi said it was worrisome that although the city was winning the war on typhoid with no confirmed deaths from the outbreak, people were coming late for treatment.

“The treatment-seeking behaviour in the communities must change. The numbers now coming to our treatment facilities have decreased, but those coming are quite sick. It is worrying in that we want our cases of fatalities to remain at zero,” he said.

Dr Chonzi urged people to desist from buying antibiotics in Mbare Musika from unregistered premises, saying the efficacy of those medicines are not guaranteed.

He then emphasised that communities practice good personal hygiene like washing hands after visiting ablution facilities, buying food from licensed premises as well as using aqua tablets and Water Guard. He said people should treat water regardless of the source and remove the notion that borehole water is safe by installing online chlorinators for the boreholes.

Recently, the city’s spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said council was set to demolish Matapi Flats in Mbare, which have become a breeding ground of infectious diseases which are threatening the health of people in Harare. Mr Chideme said Harare would partner with CBZ to build new flats in the area. Over 23 000 people stay in the flats which were designed for only 2 140 people.

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