Tuesday 18 September 2018


LABORATORY tests have ruled out cholera in 10 of the 12 people from Bulawayo who had been admitted to hospital on fears that they had contracted the disease.

Bulawayo City Council director of Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda yesterday said the local authority was awaiting lab results for two more people who were admitted to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital yesterday but 10 have been discharged.

“For the specimens that were sent to the laboratory; we have at least 5 negative Rapid Diagnostic Tests and we have at least 3 negative culture for vibrio cholerae, salmonella typhi and shigella. This simply means that there is no evidence that the admitted patients have cholera or typhoid,” said Dr Sibanda.

He said council was still in contact with the discharged patients as they will still be monitored.

“Residents are reminded that cholera is an individualistic disease as it is highly dependent on one’s hygiene. They should continue practising hygiene and ensure they wash and eat properly cooked food,” added Dr Sibanda.

Meanwhile, a teacher at a school in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North is suspected to have contracted cholera after visiting Harare amid reports that four cases have been reported in the province.

In an interview yesterday, Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Alfred Muchara said 
three of the cases were not linked to the cholera epicentre in Harare while the fourth one involved a teacher who had recently visited the capital.

“We have so far recorded four suspected cases, two in Hwange district, and one from Umguza and today we had the fourth one from Tsholotsho District,” said Dr Muchara.

“The two cases we had in Victoria Falls and Umguza have no links to Harare but the most recent one in Tsholotsho there is a link with Harare. The patient travelled to Harare.”
The PMD said parents and guardians should not worry about the suspected infected teacher as she has been quarantined.

In 2008, about 4 288 people died from cholera in Zimbabwe.
The recent outbreak which has killed about 30 people in Harare has also forced two schools in Gwanda in Matabeleland South to shut down as learners do not have a safe water source after a community borehole they relied on broke down.

Learners and teachers at Mkwidzi Primary and Secondary Schools in Shake Ward were collecting water from a dirty stream which they shared with livestock.
The school closed on Thursday last week following a meeting between parents and community leadership.

The councillor of the ward, Nobukhosi Malila said efforts to repair the borehole were underway.
Government has since set up a cholera treatment centre in Gweru as part of its preparedness to fight the water borne disease which has been recorded in Harare and Gokwe North.

Midlands provincial medical director Dr Simon Nyadundu refuted claims that suspected cholera cases have been detected in Gweru.

“No cholera case has been detected in Gweru as of now. We have just set up a cholera treatment centre at an infectious disease hospital in Ascot as part of preparedness for cholera,” he said.
Dr Nyadundu who is also the coordinator for the Gweru typhoid outbreak committee said city of Gweru is still fighting typhoid outbreak which was declared last month.

Typhoid left about 2000 residents requiring treatment and eight dead. “There has been a general steady decrease in new typhoid cases in Gweru and we are now prepared for any suspected cases of cholera,” he said.

Gweru town clerk, Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza, said her local authority will just be on the lookout for any suspected cholera cases.

Masvingo Provincial Medical Director, Dr Amadeaus Shamu, yesterday confirmed that one case suspected to be coming from Harare had been recorded in the province.

“I can confirm that we received one case of suspected cholera. The victim is receiving treatment at Masvingo General Hospital and was coming from Harare’s Glen View suburb on his way to South Africa,” said Dr Shamu.

He said that people travelling from the cholera affected areas like Harare were supposed to be disinfected first before travelling to reduce the transmission of the disease. Chronicle


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