11 September 2018
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has assured people the nation that it is working tirelessly to control the Cholera outbreak, which has hit Budiriro and Glen View suburbs in the capital.
Permanent Secretary in the MoHCC Dr Gerald Gwinji yesterday told this publication that the ministry has activated rapid response teams to fight the epidemic.
“We have activated our rapid response teams and we are following our outbreak control protocols.
“These include case management, surveillance, health information and education, supply of necessary commodities like clean water, disinfectants, soap and suitable water vessels among others.
“We are working closely with affected local authorities because this is not solely a health sector challenge.
“Free movement of people makes spread cholera.
“While we cannot ban travel we have to educate the public about how to respond when they travel or receive travellers who fall ill with anything suggestive of an outbreak happening elsewhere.
“We have standard training and response processes throughout the country and all provinces and districts are on high alert to carry out surveillance and respond as appropriate,” he said.
Asked about the government’s readiness to tackle Cholera.
“We have standard epidemic response mechanisms which we activate as needed.
“We may however from time to time face challenges from inadequate logistic support.
“The partnership we have formed with other entities alleviates a lot of distress around logistics and commodities.”
Dr Gwinji said the effective remedy is the access to clean water and sanitation.
“Everybody must be awake to good hygienic practices at personal, family and community levels.
“When outbreaks occur cooperation with the relevant responding entities and authorities is vital. Some may be asked to stop vending, some may be asked to abandon their usual sources of water for instance and this must be accepted and followed, for the greater public health good,” he said.
According to Gwinji if death occurs the deceased’s body should be handled as advised by health experts and burial is supervised.
“The underlying factors of water and sanitation have to be addressed and this needs actors beyond health.
“For Glenview specifically the sewage blockages are being attended to, we have asked for City council to ensure uninterrupted water supply and we will be supplementing this with trucked potable water.
“The health sector specific activities are in full swing,” he said.