Bilharzia pandemic hits Mash Central

HARARE - Health minister David Parirenyatwa has revealed that at least 60 percent of school-going children in Mashonaland Central Province have bilharzia.

Parirenyatwa said the statistics are too high hence government has already begun carrying out a mass-drug administration in the province.

“We have heard that out of every 100 school-going children here, 60 have bilharzia. We have to investigate, that is why we have come here again,” said Parirenyatwa speaking during the belated World Health Day {WHO} commemorations in Shamva last Friday.

“We want our nurses at every clinic to ask every child who visits their institution if their urine is not coming out reddish or with blood. It helps diagnose bilharzia of the bladder, off course not intestines but the one which is more prevalent”.

“We are grateful there is already a running programme here where they are giving preventative drugs to every child at risk,” he said.

The commemorations ran under the global theme, “Vector borne diseases: small bite, big threat” covering diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, elephantiasis and river blindness.

Global figures show that an estimated 564 000 and 36 500 deaths were caused by malaria and sleeping sickness respectively.

In Zimbabwe, 6, 5 million people contract malaria at some point in their life — particularly those in remote districts of the country.

Acting WHO representative Wilfred Nkhoma said vector diseases, despite their devastating effect on already-poor communities, are still neglected by policy makers and some health workers.

“This day then comes as a reminder of the urgent need to act before an alarming situation deteriorates any further. We need to recreate the momentum for vector control and the fundamental capacities that under pin it such as technical expertise, stronger surveillance systems and laboratory infrastructure,” said Nkhoma.

Unicef representative Reza Hossain said bilharzia disturbs the children from realising their full potential in class and compromises the country’s developmental agenda.

“Sadly, 85 percent of people infected with bilharzia are living on our continent, sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

Bilharzia can cause serious damage to internal organs, and may even undermine growth and cognitive development in children.

When the urinary system is infected there is a significantly higher risk in adults of developing bladder cancer.

Comments (1)

Suffering from such a disease is a sign of underdevelopment. Your politicians concentrate on adding up there wealth instead of critical developments

KingZaka|| - 10 June 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.