Typhoid Scare Hits Harare

According to the latest disease surveillance report released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 19 new suspected typhoid cases were reported for the week ending August 23 and 18 of these were from Harare and one from Masvingo province.

However, Harare City Council’s acting director of health Clemence Duri said this had not come to his attention, but they were on high alert.
Typhoid Scare Hits Harare
“The Harare city is on high alert for such cases and we are constantly monitoring the situation on the ground and carrying out comparative analysis,” he said.

Duri said diseases like bloody diarrhoea were also some of the top ailments that they observed closely to pick on any changes.

Cumulatively, 813 cases of typhoid have been reported throughout the country while 445 were confirmed. 
The report highlighted that typhoid and common diarrhoea cases remained high because their determinants which include adequate, safe water, sanitation, and hygiene remained unavailable.

Contaminated water from unprotected water sources has always been cited as the major cause of diarrheal disease outbreaks.

This has been worsened by obsolete water and sewage reticulation systems in the city and the erratic supply of water.

Hardest hit are areas which do not have efficient water supply such as Epworth, Hatcliffe and lately new resettlements like Hopley Farm.

However, Duri said the water supply in the city had vastly improved.

“You can confirm with Engineer Christopher Zvobgo, the water supply has improved in most areas,” he said.

But residents are bracing for a worse period following a recent ruling by High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou dismissing an urgent chamber application filed by three residents challenging the disconnection of their water supplies.

The ruling in essence has opened floodgates to more water cuts with Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere recently backing the city fathers for effecting water cuts on unpaid ratepayers.

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium salmonella typhi which only lives in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract.

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