Zimbabwe merely ‘postpones’ cholera outbreak

2018-09-23 11:29
Picture: AFP

Picture: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Despite a declaration by the government that the current cholera outbreak has been tamed, public health professionals in Zimbabwe say the outbreak has merely been “postponed” as the measures put in place are “stop-gap” solutions.

On Friday the health minister said raw sewage was seeping into drinking water resources for some residents in Harare.

Neighbouring countries such as Zambia and South Africa have been on high alert since the outbreak.

A contaminated borehole in Glen View suburb is believed to be the source of the latest outbreak and treatment centres have been set up while authorities scrounge for solutions.

“The numbers are coming down, even of those seeking treatment and deaths ... but this does not mean the problem has ended. As long as we don’t have a lasting solution to access to clean water we have just postponed the outbreak to a later date because drinking water and sewerage will keep mixing up underground,” said a health worker at one of the cholera treatment centres in Harare.

There are growing fears that forex problems in Zimbabwe will affect the importation of water treatment chemicals for several municipalities.

Marondera Municipality, eastern Harare, is running out of water treatment chemicals as officials say they are left with treatment supplies for one week.

The municipality, whose plight mirrors the situation in other urban centres, is already rationing water as it is unable to meet the demand for water, putting into perspective the need to overhaul Zimbabwe’s water and sanitation system.

Marondera town engineer Christopher Chineka said during a tour of the waterworks in the town this week that “by next week we will not be having any stocks” of chemicals to treat water.

The government says as much as $64m (R916m) is required for short-, medium- and long-term solutions to the cholera crisis. Only about half of this amount has been secured.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

According to the health ministry the outbreak has claimed 32 lives, mostly in Harare, while as many as 6 500 cases have been reported.

Health attendants at Glen View Polyclinic complained of poorly resourced working conditions and problematic facilities. There was no flushing water or toilet paper in one of the patient toilets. There were also no proper facilities for children, said a volunteer with an NGO.

The Zimbabwe Medical Association confirmed that resources such as gloves were in short supply.

With the help of donations and interventions from local and international companies, government institutions and other partners, Zimbabwe has provided oral rehydration salts, linen savers, water treatment tablets and awareness literature. Boreholes are also being drilled to provide interim relief.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  health  |  cholera  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.