Diarrhoea claims two in Bulawayo

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Bulawayo (New Ziana) – Two people have died from a diarrhoea outbreak that has hit the country’s second city, Bulawayo, an official has said.

Bulawayo City Council Divisional Environmental Health Officer, Dr Nhlonipo Precious Sithole Sibanda said a total of 1 544 diarrhoea cases had been recorded so far this month for the Bulawayo Metropolitan province, with Emakhandeni district being the hardest hit.

“So far, all three districts are currently reporting cases, and these include Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and Northern suburbs districts,” she said.

“The most affected district is Emakhandeni district currently at 68 percent. In terms of diarrhoea-related deaths, we have recorded two so far.”

Sibanda said the causalities were a 54-year-old man and a two-year-old minor.

“These deaths bringsour fatality rate to 0,13 percent,” she said.

But she said 770 recoveries had been recorded over the same period.

“This gives us a recovery rate of 49.9 percent, leaving us with 772 active cases,” Sibanda said.

Sibanda attributed the outbreak to prevailing water shortages that has resulted in communities resorting to unprotected sources of water such as wells.

“In terms of the risk factor that have been identified during our investigations and during implementation of the interventions currently in place, prevailing water shortages have resulted in communities resorting to unsafe water sources,” she said.

Sibanda also cited overcrowding as well as poor hygiene practices by some communities as major causes of outbreaks.

“We observed overcrowding, sewer bursts and overcrowding as a cause for concern. When we conducted house to house survey during active case finding which is part of some of our interventions, we discovered that some residents have resorted to hand dug wells,” she said.
New Ziana

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