via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Typhoid outbreak hits Harare 17 August 2014 by Shamiso Yikoniko
AT least nine people have succumbed to typhoid while over 300 cases were reported in a fresh outbreak of the disease in Harare, Mutare and Chegutu.
The disease outbreak has been attributed to councils’ failure to provide safe drinking water in suburbs, some have gone for months without running water.
According to the latest weekly surveillance report by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 370 cases have been recorded with 55 having been confirmed.
Ministry of Health and Child Care Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Portia Manangazira said poor water supplies was the major cause of typhoid.
“We have been barking for a long time now that water be supplied to people if we are to combat typhoid, but it seems decisions haven’t been made to improve people’s lives.
“The moment adequate water isn’t supplied, it becomes difficult to maintain personal hygiene, to cook healthy food and everything else that has to do with water. At the end of day, water-borne diseases become rampant,” she said.
Typhoid is a bacterial, water-borne disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces of an infected person. This happens in conditions of poor sanitation and poor supply of clean water.
The erratic supply of running water has resulted in some residents seeking alternative sources including unsafe boreholes.
The Harare City Council and many other local authorities are failing to deliver clean and safe drinking water resulting in outbreaks of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery.
So far, the cumulative figure for dysentery cases this year is 24 430 and 76 deaths while the cumulative figure for diarrhoea is 358 391 and 573 deaths. In 2012, typhoid outbreak affected more than 1 500 people in the country.
Dr Manangazira said even the Constitution guaranteed that people should be provided with clean water.
The national water policy (2013) points out that the overall goal of the water sector is to achieve sustainable utilisation of water resources that in turn will improve equity in access to freshwater by all Zimbabweans and the efficient use of water among competing users.