MUSHROOMING new settlements have been identified as the biggest source of medieval water borne and diarrheal diseases in Harare, acting director health services, Dr Clemence Duri has said.
By Michael Gwarisa
Giving an Overview of Diareahal diseases in the City at the World Hand Hygiene day celebrations, Dr Duri said the city was battling to contain the rise in diarrheal ailments especially in new settlements around the city as residents in the respective ares use shallow wells and other unhealthy water sources.
“Harare continues to struggle with mideaval water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery which to a greater extent have been largely eliminated in the first world.
“Diarrheal cases in Harare are mainly a high density affair, so most of our cases are in the high density suburbs. To that end, males are more affected than women i don’t know why but that is how it is,” said Dr Duri.
He added that the disease burden increases during the rainy season in all age groups although in pediatric cases (Suspected to be rota virus), the burden in high during the June and July periods.
“The city reports more watery diarrhea as compared to the bloody diarrhea.
“In as much as we have Typhoid outbreaks, incidences have been decreasing over the years showing how our health promotions activities are paying dividends especially at a time when the city is having challenges with water supply, proper sanitation especially with the new suburbs that have mushroomed in Harare.”
Harare has seen an uncontrollable sprouting of overpopulated illegal residential areas like Hopely, Calledonia (though it was recently regularised) Epworth and others. The areas lack in basic health, water and sanitation facilities as most residents uses bushes as toilets and get water from unprotected holes and boreholes.
According to city health experts, most boreholes in Harare in particular Hatcliff are contaminated and residents should use best water treatment methods like chlorinating or boiling water before use. Hatcliff last year had more than 13 inl-ine boreholes Chlorinators installed in a bid to reduce the spread of Typhoid through drinking water.