Victor Maphosa Correspondent
Three deaths suspected to be linked to cholera have been reported in Murehwa, Mashonaland East Province.
Mashonaland East Provincial Administrator Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufa confirmed the deaths.
“We have received reports of three suspected cholera deaths in Murehwa but we have not yet confirmed them as cholera deaths,” he said.
“We have since set up two treatment centres at Murehwa Hospital and our health officers are ready to assist patients.
“We held a meeting where we decided to dispatch health officials to establish the source of the reported cases,” he said.
Although Mr Kutamahufa did not have full details of the cases, sources said that the first victim was a 20-year-old woman from Mukwe Village, who started vomiting before developing diarrhoea on December 14. She allegedly did not seek medical assistance because she was a member of an apostolic sect.
She instead sought assistance from the church and later died on December 18 at her brother’s house.
The second victim, the sources said, was from Dandara Village, who had accompanied a sick relative who was seeking assistance from the church. She also lived in the same house as the first victim.
The sick relative also died later as she was also presenting cholera symptoms.
Mr Kutamahufa said they were trying to engage church leaders to stop the disease from spreading.
“We have engaged traditional and local leaders to assist us to talk to the religious leaders so that their followers can receive medical treatment and we implement precautionary measures urgently before the situation deteriorates,” he said.
Mr Kutamahufa urged the leaders of the apostolic set to allow the medical personnel they had deployed to carry out their investigations.
“We urge them to comply and to allow their members who require attention to get it,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the acting provincial medical director, Dr Paul Matsvimbo, were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.