Govt sets typhoid task force

HARARE - Government has set up an inter-ministerial task-force to deal with Harare’s typhoid outbreak.

The task-force will include officials from Harare City Council (HCC) and the ministries of Health, Environment, Local Government and Small and Medium enterprises.

Typhoid, caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria, is a waterborne disease which spreads through contaminated water and poor sanitation facilities.

Since October 2016, there have been 126 reported cases of people infected by the disease while 12 were confirmed, with 18 people currently admitted at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital.

The task-force will, among other preventive measures, clamp down on uncontrolled vending of foodstuffs on the streets.

“There is no way we can contain typhoid when people are selling fish, chicken and other foods which easily perish. That should stop. We know the economy is bad but it is better to have healthy people looking for a livelihood than unhealthy people doing the same,” HCC’s Health director Prosper Chonzi said.

He said authorities were prepared to be unpopular by banning the sale of food stuffs before the typhoid outbreak escalates to become a cholera crisis.

HCC already has a by-law that regulates against the sale of foodstuffs on the streets, but the enforcement lacks.

“Of course we have our municipal police, however, we cannot enforce the by-laws on our own and as such we need other State agents such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police to assist in enforcement. We may also need other uniformed forces to get rid of some of the conditions that encourage the spread of typhoid,” Chonzi said.

“We must address the environmental issues that are fuelling this typhoid outbreak. We do not want a situation whereby someone is treated and goes back into the community to be re-infected,” he said.

This comes as Health minister, David Parirenyatwa, this week warned that Harare boreholes water could be contaminated and advised that they be tested.

Comments (3)

Incompetence does not even begin to describe this government. Only here in Zimbabwe can a corrupt and incompetent government such as ours keep relying on the same tired nonsense about blaming someone else for their failure and maintain state control. Surely we as a people need to look at ourselves and ask if this is the best we can do. For Prosper Chonzi (a very Smart man by the way) to blame people for selling fish and chicken on the streets when he knows why that's happening is a silly cop-out. These problems were not there in Zimbabwe but they re-appeared after decades of mismanagement and theft/looting of resources by these goons. Ministry of Healthy is incompetently being run by tired and out-of-date personnel whose ideas are stuck in the 90s and can not figure out ways of making things better. Its a shame that professionals who are supposedly hired for their skills not political abilities have joined in the loot.

gudo - 5 January 2017

@gudo bravo! well said

j - 6 January 2017

Thank you @I for the compliments. Now I just read that some patients at Ingutsheni have developed Scurvy due to poor diet and lack of vitamin C. An 18th century disease that is unheard of nowadays. Zimbabwe needs new and empathetic leaders

gudo - 6 January 2017

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