Harare moves to curb typhoid

HARARE – Companies and aid agencies wishing to drill boreholes must first get approval from council in a move aimed at avoiding usage of contaminated drinking water.

Harare City Council health services director Prosper Chonzi told the Daily News yesterday that it was a measure aimed at curbing typhoid.

Typhoid

Typhoid blood test

Chonzi’s remarks come after a borehole at a Kuwadzana 3 school was found to be contaminated with E coli — the bacteria that causes typhoid.

“We have already removed the borehole at the school. Ideally all these people who drill boreholes should first come to council and get approval when sighting but that has not been happening. If that is revived, we will avoid cases of typhoid surfacing all over the city.

“The other problem also is that people think that borehole water is always safe but that is not the case. Had these people come for sighting to see if the area the borehole was to be drilled was safe, cases of typhoid from underground water would not be found,” Chonzi said.

He added that people should also practice good personal hygiene as it is also a contributing factor in the spread of typhoid.

The doctor said simple hand washing before touching food and after using the toilet can save people from contracting and spreading diarrhoeal diseases.

“All water regardless of it being municipal or borehole water should be treated with either Aquatabs or through boiling. Even if you wash your vegetables for salads with untreated water, it is just the same as drinking contaminated water,” he said.

Mbare has been the epicentre of the typhoid outbreak with two outbreaks this year that claimed the lives of six people.

According to Chonzi, the cases in the Matapi area are now under control.

The sources of the disease have all been linked to contaminated boreholes which have mixed with raw sewer as companies and aid agencies did not test the ground water for contamination.

Council had to introduce inline chlorinators on the boreholes to treat the water before it was pumped out for use.