A cholera outbreak has been reported today September, 6 2018 in Harare’s Glen View and Budiriro suburbs where five people are feared dead.
By Michael Gwarisa and Kudakwashe Pembere
Addressing journalists while touring Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital monickered Nazareth, outgoing Health and Childcare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said one person has been confirmed dead so far with other mortality cases still being investigated. This followed investigations of reported rumored deaths in the community, a number yet to be ascertained.
“What we know is that there was a patient who came in , who died on admission and we suspect that was cholera. But we are also investigating community deaths that we have heard about in Glen View. Some people we have in the community. We believe it could have been cholera. We need to investigate that to make sure. We cannot just say its cholera,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the 35 people are receiving treatment.
“The issue is that there were cases of severe diarrhea and vomiting very typical cholera type of diarrhea . So people from Glen View and Budiriro particularly Glen View 3 came here , they were admitted here. We have got 35 patients admitted here. And most of them very typical of cholera but eleven have been confirmed to have cholera after tests.
“So we are quite certain that the team here at Harare City is acting very very quickly to arrest this. To us this is a typical outbreak of cholera which we must contain as a country,” he said.
The outgoing minister urged people to wash their hands and drink water from clean sources.
“I want to warn people again please hygiene, personal hygiene, washing hands. Make sure that the water you are drinking is safe. Its usually a problem of contaminated water,” he said adding that they discovered two unsafe boreholes.
“These people are drinking from one or two boreholes we suspect to be contaminated. Our team has already gone to take samples to make sure that if these boreholes are contiminated they are condemned. They will be decommissioned for now until they are ok.”
Most of those admitted where showing signs of recovery.
“So far most of them that are here are getting much better,” said the minister.
Dr Parirenyatwa said so that Glen View and Budiriro are the only areas with confirmed cases.
“We believe this outbreak is in Glen View and Budiriro, there is nowhere else in Zimbabwe that have cholera except those two. So it behoves us as a country that we contain as a team and make sure that as usual prevention, prevention, prevention is key otherwise we have an outbreak throughout the country. When you suspect that you have symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting please report to the clinic immediately,” he said.
A patient who was speaking to Dr Parirenyatwa during the tour said he got the disease after drinking contaminated water. One symptom of cholera is numbness.
“I was drinking a lot of water a few days ago and started noticing that my fingers were stiff. I then started exhibited severe diarrhea and vomiting till I got admitted at Harare Central Hospital. They gave me some tablets and injections but nothing changed, I returned at the Hospital and they referred me here at Nazareth,” said the patient who looked convalescing. “I am feeling better now.”
Investigations by HealthTimes showe that in Masvingo City 300 km from Harare, another case tested positive on RDT. A patient is receiving treatment at Masvingo Provincial Hospital where test and investigations are being done.
About a decade ago, over 50 percent of cholera cases in Zimbabwe were reported from Budiriro.