Medecins Sans Frontiers-Zimbabwe steps in to help Bulawayo deal with diarrhoea

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

AN international humanitarian agency, Medecins Sans Frontiers-Zimbabwe, is assisting Bulawayo City Council in treating diarrhoea patients in Luveve high density suburb.

Over 2 000 diarrhoea cases have been recorded in Luveve with 12 people, including children, alleged to have died from complications related to the disease.

Authorities have identified Gastrointestinal as the main cause of the diarrhoea.

In a statement, MSF Zimbabwe said it has deployed medical staff in the suburb who are treating patients.

“In response to a diarrhoea outbreak, MSF Zimbabwe is on the ground providing assistance to the City of Bulawayo with medicines, IV infusions, water buckets and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“We are working towards minimising the spread and treating the infected,” said the organisation.

Government has attributed the disease to a controversial six-day water shedding regime employed by the council to try and conserve the scarce necessity in a city that has had its fair share of water problems over decades.

However, reports indicate water quality tests carried by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Cimas have been inconclusive.

The city council has implemented a 144-hour weekly water shedding programme as part of measures to conserve the city’s dwindling water supplies.

Speaking at a recent water crisis meeting in Bulawayo, city Chamber Secretary Sikhangele Zhou revealed the local authority has already moved in to address the outbreak of the contagious disease.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has also urged the local authority to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the disease.

“The outbreak compounds the already existing public health crisis posed by Covid-19 pandemic,” said the organisation.