Eradicate typhoid

HARARE - It is regrettable that 33 years into Zimbabwe’s independence, the country is still grappling with medieval diseases such as typhoid that continue to wreak havoc, especially in Harare where water is a perennial problem.

Five years after the deadly cholera outbreak killed more than 4 000 people, the menace is back with reports of four deaths having been recorded in Harare in the past few weeks.

Government should put in place measures to curb the spread of communicable diseases that include diarrhoea and dysentery through improving sewerage infrastructure which is in a state of disrepair.

Resources should be mobilised to ensure that raw sewerage which is freely flowing into our water sources is diverted elsewhere for recycling.

The fight against diseases such as typhoid and cholera, which are on a rebound, is not for the government alone.

All concerned must get involved and put in place measures to control and prevent the consequences of such outbreaks.

Improving sanitation in poor areas and maintaining vigilance in our personal hygiene are key factors if we are to emerge victorious against such outdated but deadly outbreaks.

In most areas of Harare where such diseases are latent, it is crucial to improve infrastructure so as to maintain adequate and clean water supplies.

It is important for government and in particular the ministry of Health and Child Welfare to disseminate more literature on the diseases’ cycle so as to alert residents to take precaution.

Government should also set aside enough resources to tackle these fatal diseases as they expose the State’s warped priorities.

Instead of being reactionary, the government and communities should be proactive and ensure that the nation is equipped for early detection of such diseases.

While food is the primary mode of transmission, most communicable diseases are usually through faecal-oral route, and ingestion of contaminated water.

Direct person-to-person contact can also be a mode of transmission, but contaminated water and or food is consistently the major source of new infections in endemic regions and thus it is crucial to wash food before eating.

As for now, it is important that all those responsible in controlling the spread of these diseases be on high alert. There is need for medicines to be given out to local hospitals and clinics.

Like in previous outbreaks, there is need to erect mobile clinics in areas that the disease has already been detected.

Government and local authorities should train more health staff who will be deployed in various disease hot spots to deal with any health threats.

Like they say; prevention is better than cure.

We urge authorities who have anything to do with the control of these diseases to pull together resources and staff as a matter of urgency.

Indeed, 33 years down the line as Zimbabweans we should feel ashamed that such diseases are still in our midst! - Staff Writer

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