Disbanding cholera committee a monumental error

HARARE - We report elsewhere in this newspaper that government is reviving the cholera special task force committee it had disbanded as typhoid hits several towns.

In as much as we welcome such a move, we think our leaders should not have disbanded the committee in the lull that followed the devastating 2008 water-borne disease outbreak.

The disbanding of the committee meant that the country no longer had any monitoring mechanism to detect water-borne diseases.

It was no longer on alert despite the water and waste management situation remaining grave.

Harare City Council’s director of health last week confirmed that a number of people had been infected leading to some deaths.

The local authorities, he said were not even aware that there was an outbreak.

The figures are not good.

As at Monday, Harare had recorded 937 new cases of typhoid with four fatalities in less than 40 days while common diarrhoea has claimed 265 lives out of 428 894 cases since January.

We wonder why government disbanded the special task force without first addressing the water crisis gripping major parts of the country.

Without health monitors and alerts, innocent lives have been lost and more are being hospitalised because of the inept decision making.

The hurried decision to disband the special task force shows the level of disconnect between political officials and the affected communities.

It is disheartening that despite rich natural resources abound in our country, Zimbabweans continue to die because of lack of funding towards the health sector.

While typhoid continues to wreak havoc particularly in Harare, Bulawayo has not seen a drop of treated water for eternity; hence hospitals are attending diarrheal patients every day.

It is poor planning for the government that purports to have the interests of its people at heart to disband teams set up to monitor typhoid outbreaks.

As a matter of fact, we call upon authorities to expand the committee to include technocrats from across all societal fields. - Staff Writer

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