via Diarrhoea kills more than 300 countrywide – New Zimbabwe 18/08/2015
AT least 323 people have succumbed to diarrhoea between January and July this year, the health and child care ministry has revealed.
The revelation comes at a time when virtually all urban centres and rural areas are grappling with of shortages of portable water.
According to the ministry latest weekly report, 9,779 cases and 9 deaths were reported in this week alone.
“Of the reported cases 5,846 and 5 deaths were from the under five years of age.
“The provinces which reported the highest number of diarrhoea cases are Manicaland which had 1 514 and Masvingo1 511,” said the week 31 report.
The deaths were reported from Mutoko district in Mashonaland East province (1), Chirumanzu district (4) and Gokwe South district (1) both in Midlands province, Umzingwane district in Matabeleland South province (1), Mpilo Central Hospital (1) and Chitungwiza Central Hospital (1).
Total diarrhoea cases reported until week 31 of the year were 294,124.
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) director, Itai Rusike, said the records were unacceptably high and blamed the developments on local authorities’ failure to revamp water as well as sewer systems.
“Diarrhoea outbreaks are exacerbated by a countrywide breakdown of sewerage, water supply and treatment systems. Most local authorities have dilapidated infrastructure as well as obsolete equipment.
“Some of the key challenges are caused by inadequate funding towards service delivery and, as a result, the country is off track towards attaining most of its health targets,” he said.
Also, according to the report, clinical dysentery cases reported in week 31 alone were 607 and 1 death. Of the reported cases, 178 and 1 death were from the under five years of age.
The provinces which reported the highest number of dysentery cases were Manicaland which recorded 123 and Midlands, 88.
The cumulative figure for dysentery is 23 899 cases and 71 deaths.
Also, 24 new suspected typhoid cases were reported this week. The cases were reported from Harare city which had 13 cases and Harare Central Hospital which recorded 11. The cumulative figure for suspected typhoid cases is 768 and 445 confirmed cases.
The ministry also said no new confirmed or suspected cholera cases were reported this week.
Total cholera cases reported so far were 20 confirmed cases and 42 suspected cases.
The last case of cholera was reported during week 18 of 2015.
Recent official statistics released by Zimstats shows that 30% of Zimbabweans have no access to clean and safe water.
Majority of the country’s rural population rely on untreated water from open sources including dams, wells and rivers.
The same trend prevails in urban settlements where some suburbs have not had running water for a decade now.