By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
COMMUNITIES across Mashonaland West province are prone to diarrhoeal outbreaks which are exerting strains on existing medical facilities, a senior health official has said.
Diarrhoea is usually a symptom of a bowel infection, medically known as gastroenteritis, potentially caused by a virus such as norovirus or rotavirus, or bacteria like salmonella or shigella from contaminated food.
It is characterised by loose and watery stool that occurs more frequently than usual.
Addressing guests during the official opening of a Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS)-funded clinic in Karoi Tuesday, Provincial Medical Director, Gift Masoja, said diarrhoea features prominently on the list of conditions afflicting the local population.
“Let us remind each other of leading health conditions in Mashonaland West, diarrhoea is on top of these conditions, followed by upper respiratory infections (chest), injuries, skin diseases and malaria,” said Masoja.
He said Zimbabwe can only achieve Vision 2030’s goal of attaining upper middle income economy if ailments among the citizenry are brought under control courtesy of adequately equipped clinics and hospitals.
Across Hurungwe administrative district, there are now a total 37 clinics and two major hospitals— Karoi District Hospital and Chidamoyo.
Of the 37 primary health centres dotted across the province, the latest addition by ZRCS complements four clinics operated by the army, and another administered by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks).
Meanwhile, the Health ministry has appealed to patients to report unscrupulous doctors, nurses and other ancillary staff demanding extra money in order to offer services at clinics and hospitals.
Masocha said after paying initial consultation fees and getting medical cards stamped, patients receiving treatment should demand receipts from officials illegally providing them additional services such as CT scans, X rays, and medicines, among other services.