ALMOST 40 people had by yesterday approached Harare’s health facilities with typhoid symptoms as the threat of an outbreak looms large.
Source: Typhoid cases soar – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 28, 2016
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
Authorities in the capital confirmed the worrying trend which follows the Christmas Day death of a teenage girl, who reportedly succumbed to the now rare tropical disease.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme told NewsDay in an interview yesterday that he had visited the local authority’s health facilities which he said had recorded a steady increase in typhoid cases.
“As of this afternoon, we have recorded about 39 cases and there is a possibility that by the end of the day we might have more,” Chideme said.
He said nine people who were admitted for treatment on Christmas Day continued to be under observation and were receiving “special treatment”.
According to Chideme, following the girl’s death, authorities in Harare deployed health officials in the poor neighbourhood of Mbare where raw sewage continues to flow and identified a borehole as the source of the latest outbreak.
“We are disinfecting the area and dechoking all blocked sewers. We are also encouraging all people with symptoms to visit available medical facilities,”he said.
Chideme was, however, quick to point out that the city was still investigating blood samples to ascertain whether the diarrhoeal outbreak was “really typhoid”.
“We still haven’t confirmed yet if it is really a typhoid outbreak, the blood culture results which confirm that will be out by tomorrow [today].”
Over 4 000 people died of cholera in 2008 and since then Harare has continued to struggle with bouts of tropical disease outbreaks.
Harare’s old sewerage reticulation system was installed by the Rhodesian government over 50 years ago and was initially meant to cater for a far smaller population than the estimated four million inhabitants currently calling the capital city home.
Interference from central government has not made things any easier for city fathers with piling garbage as well as lack of running water some of the greatest threats to health in Harare.