Source: Cholera fears haunt Glen View | The Herald July 29, 2019
Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Harare City Council (HCC) is struggling to address the root causes of previous cholera outbreaks that claimed many lives, exposing residents to possible fresh outbreaks, a council health official has said.
The revelation comes at a time Harare has recorded four more typhoid cases, bringing the total number of typhoid cases recorded in the past six months to 862.
Fears of a cholera outbreak were high last weekend after rumour filtered that there was a suspected cholera outbreak in Glen View.
City health director Dr Prosper Chonzi dismissed rumour of a fresh suspected cholera outbreak in Glen View but did not rule out fresh outbreaks in future considering that the causes of previous outbreaks had not been addressed.
He, however, confirmed four new reported cases of typhoid adding to at least 858 cases recorded in the last six months.
Dr Chonzi said typhoid was now under control as the four patients were now on treatment.
“The reported four cases of typhoid are of people we already identified and are now under treatment. As of cholera there are no such reports.
“Chances of typhoid and cholera outbreaks are high because the environment that led to previous outbreaks is still the same. There is still poor sanitation facilities, inconsistent refuse collection and erratic water supplies resulting in residents relyning on contaminated wells,” he said.
Community Water Alliance (CWA) director Hardlife Mudzingwa said he had received information of a fresh cholera outbreak in Glen View, adding it was yet to be confirmed.
“A visit to 94, 96, 100, 103, 104 Crescents in Glen View 8 by CWA ward committees confirms that there is a serious typhoid outbreak in Glen View. There is one suspected cholera case, though it is not yet confirmed,” he said.
Dr Chonzi said the city, in conjunction with its partners, was assessing whether the typhoid victims were vaccinated during a campaign rolled out by Government last year against cholera in Glen View and Budiriro as it moved to protect residents from the water-borne disease.
The water-borne disease killed at least 49 people and infected 10 000 others.
“We rolled out vaccination campaigns for cholera and typhoid and anyone vaccinated must be protected for about three to four years. At the moment we are tracking all those vaccinated with the assistance of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and International Vaccine Institute so as to measure the effectiveness of the drug,” he said.