Doctors slam failure to contain typhoid

HARARE - Rights doctors have been profoundly dismayed by watching citizens, mainly children, suffer and die because of a preventable disease such as typhoid.

Zimbabwe is scrambling to contain the outbreak of typhoid following at least two deaths and more than 100 suspected cases of the bacterial infection in the capital, Harare.

A ministerial taskforce has been set up by the government to spearhead efforts to contain the outbreak.

Citizens blame erratic water supplies and poor sanitation for the spread of the water-borne disease.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said it was worried and appalled by the failure by the City of Harare and the government to stem the continued spread of typhoid and failure to prioritise safe, clean water and the environment as key tenets of a strong primary healthcare system.

“While acknowledging the efforts by the authorities to date in responding to the outbreak, we remain unsatisfied with level of intervention which, though important at curative stage fails to acknowledge and introspect into the actual causes of the outbreak,” ZADHR said in a statement yesterday.

“Harare continues to reel under conditions suitable for the growth and spread of waterborne diseases such as typhoid.”

While emergency interventions are ongoing, the City of Harare and the government should come up with sustainable solutions related to the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene in the city, the doctors said.

“Burst sewerages, unsafe water and poor sanitation are an affront to the enjoyment of the right to health by residents.”

ZADHR blamed local authorities and also the negligence of supervision by central government.

“...(we) call upon the residents and ratepayers to continue being engaged and demand responsiveness, transparency and accountability from the council. This action must include but not limited to class actions,” the doctors said.

“In the interest of good community and personal health ZADHR encourages residents to exercise good personal hygiene through hand washing and avoid open air and unsanctioned food outlets.

“By and large we call upon members of the medical profession to get engaged and assist both in the response to the outbreak and in the consummation of sustainable solutions to the dire public health situation in the city.”

Comments (1)

these guys and many other civil servants are heroes. they shall never be sung, nor rewarded. a lot have and will be persecuted for exposing the ills of evil governments. we rarely corroborate their exposes. rather we quarrel among ourselves on non-material stories.

maombo david - 13 January 2017

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