By Elvis Dumba
Chegutu – Ministry of Health and Child Care in Chegutu has intensified awareness of good hygiene practices in the district following confirmed cases of the disease.
A cholera treatment camp in Chegutu Urban has since been activated.
“We do have one cholera case in Chegutu Urban. The Rapid Response Team activated the Chinengundu Cholera Treatment Camp. A thematic committee under the District Civil Protection has been activated to share prevention awareness and we are on high alert just in case the cases rise,” Chegutu Acting District Development Coordinator Mrs. Muzvidziwa confirmed and referred more questions to the Ministry of Health.
Mashonaland West Provincial Nursing, Officer Farai Marufu, said the Health Ministry has intensified awareness and preventive measures promotion in partnership with other stakeholders such as the local authority.
“Yes, we have reports of cholera in Chegutu urban with samples of food from the family where one of the patients came from. This includes fish and water taken for sampling. To avert a health disaster, the ministry officials are on the ground and doing everything to ensure the outbreak does not spread. For more contact, the Provincial Medical Director led the team that went on the ground” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mashonaland West Provincial Medical Director proved fruitless as his mobile number was not reachable by the time of publishing.
On the 17th of February, the Ministry of Health and Child Care alerted the public of the current cholera outbreaks within the SADC region affecting some of our neighbouring countries (Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia). To date, over 43 000 cases and 1400 deaths have been reported in the region since January 2023. Due to the high human traffic across our borders, there is a high risk of importation of cases into the country, especially considering that Zimbabwe is a transit route for most SADC countries. The public is therefore advised to be on the alert for symptoms of watery diarrhoea amongst travellers from Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia and alert their nearest health facilities for treatment.
It reported that on the 15th of February 2023, Zimbabwe confirmed a case of cholera in Chegutu town, Mashonaland West Province, having presented with watery diarrhoea and vomiting on the 12th of February 2023. On the 17th of February 2023, a second case was reported, again in Chegutu town and investigations are underway. The first confirmed case has since recovered.
In view of the above, the Ministry reminds the public of the spread of diarrhoeal and other enteric diseases during the rainy season.
For prevention of cholera, people are advised to:
- Make sure to drink and use safe water and boil it at all times
- Practice hygiene at all times including washing hands before eating, and after visiting the toilet and desisting from eating unhygienically prepared food.
- Use proper latrines or other sanitation systems
- Cook food well, keep it covered, and eat it hot.
If one suspects cholera, they are advised to visit the nearest health facility for prompt treatment.
If anyone presents with watery diarrhoea immediately, they are encouraged to report to the nearest health facility or call the Ministry’s Public Health Emergency Operations Centre toll-free number 2019 for assistance.