Breaking news: Cholera outbreak in Chiredzi

by Watmore Makokoba

There are growing fears of a wider cholera outbreak following two confirmed cases at Rupangwana clinic in Chiredzi District Masvingo province last week and Chinyamukwakwa Clinic in Chipinge Manicaland Province recorded on the 14th of this month.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, to date, there is one confirmed case at Rupangwana and 3 suspected in Chinyamukwakwa of which 2 have died.

Speaking during a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Minister of Health and Child care Honorable Dr. David Parirenyatwa said the three suspected cases had contact with an index case admitted at Rupangwana clinic in Chiredzi who had come from Chipinge on the 9th of march 2017.

“Chipping District has been affected by recent floods and this particular area has been hit hard with communities failing to access health facilities for treatment, most of the people in the affected area of Mabee have no access to safe drinking water”, said Dr.Parirenyatwa.

In a statement released, the Ministry reports that it is suspected that the cholera might have been contacted from Mozambique through the Manica border.

“The area where there is an influx of people from Mozambique, there are 388 cases of cholera that have been reported in Mozambique as of the week ending 26 February and 60 cases in the adjacent province of Manica”, reads the statement.

Dr. Parirenyatwa said the Ministry has already deployed a rapid response team to access the situation and also make available medicine and medical kits to curb the outbreak.

“Rapid response teams in the 2 two provinces are on the ground conducting an assessment, the cases are being managed at the two  clinics in Chiredzi and Chipinge, Medicine and other supplies are being mobilized to be transported to the affected areas,

“The ministry with help of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners is positioning 10 diarrhoea kits in all provinces each capable of treating 500 cases, non-food items (NFI) kits have also been prepositioned and these include soap, water treatment tablets and buckets.

This outbreak comes at a time when the Ministry has been facing a daunting task trying to contain waterborne disease such as typhoid which has hit most suburbs in the country.

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