Typhoid scare in Hurungwe
Walter Nyamukondiwa: Chinhoyi Bureau
About 100 cases of suspected typhoid have been reported in Chidamoyo, Hurungwe, amid indications that at least five provinces countrywide have so far declared an outbreak.The cases were recorded in two villages in the Bhashungwe area, about nine kilometres from Chidamoyo Christian Hospital. Among those affected are 11 pupils from both Bhashungwe Primary and Secondary schools, with some of them yet to report for the first term after being hospitalised.
Investigations have revealed that the two boreholes servicing over 400 families in Manyembere and Manhuwa villages in Ward 13 have broken down, forcing people to draw water from nearby Dororowe River.
There are fears that the outbreak could spread to four other adjacent villages, including Chidyafodya, Gondo, Katsvete and Chiwanza. Mashonaland West provincial epidemiology and disease control officer Dr Gift Masoja confirmed the suspected typhoid cases.
“Yes, we are monitoring the situation, but these are still suspected cases which we are investigating to confirm whether it is typhoid or a diarrhoeal outbreak,” he said.
“We are waiting for the results of samples that we sent to Harare.”
Sources told The Herald yesterday that two of the suspected cases have been confirmed. Villagers in the Chidamoyo area resort to open defecation, as there are only 20 pit latrines servicing about 2 000 people, thereby increasing chances of contracting water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera.
About 500 schoolchildren and their teachers in the area also fetch water from the nearby river, while sanitation facilities need improvement. The District Development Fund has been called in to fix broken down boreholes in the area.