Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
Popular braai spot KwaMereki in Warren Park D, Harare, has been hit by a typhoid outbreak with two cases having been reported last week, Harare City Council health director Dr Prosper Chonzi has said.
In an interview yesterday, Dr Chonzi said the city was concerned over the spread of typhoid to new areas.
“So far, two concerned cases of typhoid have been reported from Mereki and Warren Park D, whilst several suspected cases have been noted as the area involves a lot of unhygienic cooking practices that easily attract bacteria,” he said.
“Altogether we have since recorded 31 concerned cases of typhoid and 400 suspected cases across the city and all these cases are highly from the same areas previously affected including Hopley, Glen Norah, Budiriro, Kuwadzana and Mabvuku.”
Dr Chonzi said the welfare of residents in areas around the place was under serious threats due to increased unhygienic exercises at the open space
“Typhoid is easily spread to the next person especially in areas with limited or poor hygiene practices, for instance Mereki is a place with a hive of activities and the majority of these activities involve the haphazard preparing and selling of foodstuffs which can easily attract an outbreak of the disease,” he said.
“People should avoid eating food anywhere and everywhere. They should stand guided on how to avoid contracting the disease.”
Dr Chonzi warned residents against the use of unprotected water sources saying that was the major cause of diarrhoeal disease outbreaks.
“With the rains that were being received in the past week, water tables are a little bit high and so is water contamination,” said Dr Chonzi.
“A lot of water contamination happens when it is raining and residents have to be extra cautious of the water they drink and the sources from which they extract water they use for domestic purposes.”
Dr Chonzi said water supplies across the city were continuously improving to curb the rise of typhoid cases.
“As compared to the last time, cases of typhoid are slowly declining and we will continue strengthening our awareness campaigns and typhoid response strategies to ensure that the disease is surely contained,” he said.
“This season we also did not face much problems in containing the disease because the season of mangoes and some fruits that are easily associated with unhygienic tendencies was short.”
Dr Chonzi said western suburbs such as Hopley, Glen Norah, Budiriro and Kuwadzana continued to be the hardest typhoid hit areas in the city.
He urged residents to continue basic hygiene practices such as washing hands before meals, eating food while it is still hot and treating all domestic water at point of use.
Last week one person died of typhoid in Hopley with several others seeking medication over the disease.