Typhoid, cholera re-emerge in Hatcliffe and Epworth Dr Parirenyatwa
Dr Parirenyatwa

Dr Parirenyatwa

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent—
A suspected cholera and typhoid outbreak has killed two people in Hatcliffe and Epworth amid reports that one person was being treated for typhoid. The Hatcliffe outbreak resulted in the decommissioning of four out of seven boreholes in the suburb. Harare City Council Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi confirmed reports of typhoid in Hatcliffe, saying six people were so far on their suspect list.

He said a suspected cholera victim died at Epworth Clinic after travelling from Mudzi. The re-emergence of typhoid in Hatcliffe comes after a similar outbreak in Mbare last year which spread to Budiriro and Glen View.

“I can confirm that we have two confirmed cases of typhoid. One person, a man aged 28, died at Harare Central Hospital of kidney failure which we suspect is delayed typhoid treatment. His relative, a 16-year-old girl is receiving treatment after testing positive,” he said.

“We suspect that they were drinking contaminated water from a borehole. Four of the seven boreholes in the immediate vicinity have bacterial growth. The Hatcliffe cases are new and their water situation is quite dire especially in the new settlements around Glen Forest.”

Dr Chonzi said their response teams have been in the area since last week, to monitor the situation and as of yesterday, they were sending water bowsers to relieve residents with safe water.

He said the decision to decommission the contaminated boreholes was the best to stop people from drinking the water, but said they had engaged their water department to increase the weekly water supply.

Questioned if Harare was failing to deal with typhoid after the Mbare outbreak, Dr Chonzi said: “The Mbare outbreak is totally under control. We have even demeaned the treatment centre at Mbare Clinic and our last confirmed case as of yesterday for Mbare was on the 7th of February. The control measures for Mbare really worked.”

Dr Chonzi urged communities to practice good personal hygiene like washing hands after visiting ablution facilities, buying food from licensed premises, using aqua tablets and Water Gard.

He said people should treat water regardless of the source and remove the notion that borehole water is safe.

However, Harare North MP Tongesayi Mudambo (Zanu-PF) said he feared that more lives will be lost with the lackadaisical approach being taken by council.

He urged the city to increase their weekly water supply in the area if the outbreak is to be contained.

Typhoid, caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria, is a water-borne disease which spreads through contaminated water and poor sanitation facilities.

Meanwhile, two people died of cholera in Manicaland and Masvingo, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has confirmed while two others WEre receiving treatment.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa, in a statement read on his behalf by his deputy Aldrin Musiiwa, said: “An outbreak of cholera has been reported at Rupangwana Clinic in Chiredzi District of Masvingo Province on March 10, 2017 and at Chinyamukwakwa Clinic in Chipinge District of Manicaland Province on March 14, 2017. To date there is one confirmed case at Rupangwana and three suspected in Chinyamukwakwa Clinic of which two have died.

“The three suspected cases had contact with the confirmed index case admitted at Rupangwana Clinic in Chiredzi District who had come from the border area of Chipinge on March 9, 2017.”

Dr Parirenyatwa said flooding negatively affected communities in Chipinge district resulting in people failing to access health facilities for treatment.

He said most of the people in the affected area of Mabee had no access to safe drinking water due to floods.

There is speculation that the disease could be emanating from Mozambique.

“The area where the cases have been reported is adjacent to the border where there is an influx of people coming from Mozambique.

“There are cases of cholera that have been reported in Mozambique and in the adjacent Province of Manica,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He said Rapid Response Teams in the two provinces were on the ground conducting assessments and the cases were being managed at the two clinics in Chiredzi and Chipinge.

Dr Parirentyatwa urged all communities to exercise good personal hygiene.

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