Cholera death toll hits 30; Bulawayo calls crisis meeting

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

AUTHORITIES called a crisis meeting in Bulawayo Sunday as the cholera outbreak spread to the country’s second largest city with the national toll increasing to 30.

Health and child care minister Dr Obadiah Moyo confirmed the death of two more people at the weekend, raising the death toll to 30 with more than 5,400 suspected cases around the country.

“The total number of deaths has risen by two to 30 people who have died of cholera. Control measures remain in place,” the minister said.

“We are increasing water supplies and medication to the affected areas following assistance from various partners. We have also received drugs and protective clothing.”

In Bulawayo, an emergency meeting was called Sunday as the disease spread to the city.

The meeting which attended by, among others, provincial administrator Khonzani Ncube provincial minister Judith Ncube, City Council Director of Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda and Mpilo Hospital Director for Clinical Services, Dr Solwayo Ngwanya.

Addressing journalists at Mhlahlandlela government complex soon after the meeting, Dr Sibanda said the city had so far recorded ten suspected cases of the epidemic.

The suspected victims were admitted at Thorngrove Isolation Hospital in the city.
“There has been a mixed of ages ranging from 18 year up to 63 years,” said Dr Sibanda.

“Out of these people, five look like probable cases and the other five really are suspected cases where no history of conduct with affected patients.

“The probable ones are people whose symptoms, signs and history all point to cholera.”

Dr Sibanda said the first suspected case was a 38-year-old lady who spent two weeks in Glen View in Harare while the other lady, an 18-year-old teenager is thought to be suffering from Typhoid likely contracted in Gweru where she had travelled.
The other suspected victims had recently travelled Shamva and Budiriro, in Harare.

“We have put in place the Health Education and promotion and disease Surveillance committees,” said Dr Sibanda.

“The health education and promotion committee will carry vigorous cholera campaigns in the city while the disease surveillance committee will make sure that cholera cases are managed according to set down World Health Organisation (WHO) procedures and standards.”