Uneasy calm in Wedza amid cholera outbreak fears

HARARE - Wedza residents have complained of watery diarrhoea and vomit amid fears of cholera outbreak.

The Community Water Alliance (CWA) has reported that people in the small town are experiencing diarrhoeal symptoms similar to typhoid and cholera.

The new scare comes as 10 people have already succumbed to cholera in Harare while another 10 died from typhoid in Gweru.

“We cannot say for certain. However, members of the community in Wedza say there has been a surge in diarrhoeal diseases.

“We need to confirm first before raising too much alarm,” CWA said.

Meanwhile, sources at Chitungwiza Town Council told the Daily News that the council had set up a cholera treatment centre at St Mary’s clinic’s family health centre.

According to the local authority source, three patients are being treated at the clinic while all suspected cases are being advised to go to the health care facility.

“So far we have five  suspected cases that tested positive for cholera on the rapid test and have been taken to Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

“We encourage people to seek treatment early to minimise further transmission,” the official who refused to be named said.

Newly-appointed minister of health Obadiah Moyo was not taking calls when we attempted to reach him to confirm the new cholera developments.

Chitungwiza town clerk George Makunde and mayor Gift Tsverere were also not answering their mobile phones.

Director of epidemiology in the Health ministry Portia Manangazire said she was only aware of cases in Harare and still to get reports of the suspected cases in Chitungwiza.

CWA national coordinator Hildaberta Rwambiwa said government needs to resuscitate the public-sector investment programme that will provide resources to rehabilitate the dilapidated water infrastructure.

Rwambiwa said in the forthcoming council and national budgets, water provision should be a priority with sizeable and meaningful budget allocations being channelled towards rehabilitation of liquid waste infrastructure.

“As the rain season approaches the Harare and Chitungwiza councils must release their state of preparedness plans to contain the disease outbreaks that normally accompany rains.

“It cannot be that every year people lose life due to outbreaks,” she said.

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