Harare cholera outbreak claims 4 while 36 are hospitalised

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By Anna Chibamu

ATLEAST four people have died in Harare while 36 others have been hospitalised following a cholera outbreak in Harare’s high density suburbs of Glen View and Budiriro.

Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa confirmed the disaster.

The scourge has been linked to poor water supply, poor hygiene and poor waste disposal in the densely populated residential areas.

The 36 are admitted at Harare’s Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Minister Parirenyatwa was quick to give assurances the outbreak was under control from both the Ministry and Harare city health authorities.

“The situation in that area is under control,” he told Thursday.

“What is important is however, to prevent new infections and this is where it is important to make investigations on how many people have been affected, who they made contact with so that we quickly manage the situation.”

The minister also urged anyone experiencing suspected cholera symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting to report to the nearest clinic.

“We are busy with our teams on the ground and we are setting up a treatment camp at Glen View Polyclinic to make sure that anyone in the vicinity who has the symptoms mentioned should be able to visit the camp and be looked after,” he said.

Parirenyatwa said Harare city authorities were battling to clear blockages and ensuring water supplies were available in the affected suburbs.

The Minister also revealed that another case of cholera had been reported in Masvingo with the patient now admitted at Masvingo General Hospital while authorities were still trying to trace if the patient got the infection from Harare or from elsewhere.

“We also understand that the one case reported to be admitted at Masvingo General Hospital came from Guruve.

“So, we are tracing where they came from in the district or if it was from abroad or within the country,” he said.

Parirenyatwa also indicated that tests done by the City Council on 90 percent of Harare boreholes have shown that the water was contaminated.

He advised residents to treat the water before consumption.

Budiriro suburb, which has experienced the latest outbreak, is the epicentre of the 2008-09 cholera outbreak that killed 4 000 Zimbabweans while over 100,000 were hospitalised following the disaster.