Cholera kills 7 in Buhera

HARARE - While authorities in Harare claim that the cholera outbreak has been contained, the plague has hit Buhera with seven people being confirmed dead from the disease.

The deputy minister of Health and Child Care John Mangwiro confirmed the latest development.

“It is true that there has been an outbreak of the disease in Buhera. When last I got the figures, seven people had perished. Another 82 suspected cases were recorded and 30 were confirmed,” said Mangwiro.

“We did some preliminary investigations and found that the people who had spread the disease had come from Glen View. They were also part of the group that died,” he added.

Mangwiro said containing the disease in Buhera was being hampered by people in the region who did not believe in seeking help at medical facilities, adding that cleanliness was also a major challenge.

“Most of the people died at shrines while seeking treatment in the mountains or at the river.

“While religion is an important part of our lives as Zimbabweans, when people get sick they should go to clinics or hospitals and get proper treatment to avoid deaths from diseases that can be cured,” Mangwiro said.

This comes as Mutare City Council also confirmed three cases last week.

According to the city’s health services director Antony Mutara the first case was that of a truck driver who came from Harare, while the other case involved a child from Marange.

“The male patient tested positive for cholera and is responding well at our Mutare Infectious Diseases Hospital. He started vomiting on October 16 and was brought to the hospital where he is currently under the care of health officials,” he said.

Mutara said environmental health technicians have since gone on the ground and disinfected the patient’s residents for possible contamination.

Since the outbreak was confirmed in Harare in September, more than 45 people have died and over 10 000 sought treatment at the various centres set up.

Vaccination for cholera began a fortnight ago with 1,4 million doses of the vaccine targeted for Harare and would move to other parts of the country.

The first phase of 500 000 doses started being administered in Glen View, Glen Norah, Budiriro and Mbare while an additional 900 000 doses will be given to 11 other suburbs under phase two.

“After that we will move to Epworth and Chitungwiza,” ministry of Health director of disease control and epidemiology Portia Manangazira said.


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