3 September 2018
Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
TWO suspected cases of typhoid have been reported in Masvingo’s Runyararo suburb amid fears that the scourge can escalate as the city has gone for two weeks without running water.
Last week the local authority’s two pumps at the main water plant at Bushmead broke down leaving most suburbs on high ground without access to the precious liquid raising fears of typhoid outbreak which has also claimed lives in Gweru.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care confirmed a cumulative figure of 1500 cases of typhoid in Gweru last month.
Masvingo Provincial Medical Director, Amadeus Shamu confirmed the two incidents but said the doctors were yet to make full assessments before concluding that the victims were affected by typhoid.
“We have two suspected cases of typhoid in Runyararo West Suburb. One has been treated at Masvingo General Hospital and discharged while the other one is still admitted to the same hospital,” said Dr Shamu.
He said although investigations were still in progress to ascertain if it was indeed a typhoid bug that had attacked the patients, residents were encouraged to boil their water in the wake of shortage of precious liquid.
“Our health staff is working around the clock in putting the disease under surveillance and treating anyone showing symptoms of typhoid. We are on typhoid alert and we urge residents to rush to the nearest health centre when they suspect that they have high fever, painful joints and vomiting. These are symptoms of the disease,” he said.
He said while residents were waiting for normal water supplies to be restored by the local authority maximum caution should be exercised through washing hands, eating warm food and not buying food from unlicenced vendors.
He said residents should exercise high level of hygiene and use the little water they get sparingly making sure that their toilets are clean.
Community Working Group on Health provincial chairperson Entrance Takaidza said her organisation was educating residents on the importance of good hygiene considering that water was in short supply.
“We are complementing the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s efforts in conscientising the public on hygiene. We are raising awareness on the disposal of litter and cleaning of sanitation facilities. We also urge residents to stop shaking hands as this can transmit typhoid easily. We however call upon our local authority to move with speed in sorting out the pump issue before the disease is widely spread,” said Takaidza.