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Masvingo Star Provincial Newspapers

Cholera cases spike in Mash East


MARONDERA- Since the outbreak of cholera, Mashonaland East Province has
recorded 72 cases, with 62 of them being found in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe
district alone.

The effects of the deadly disease have led to the province’s health care system
working round the clock to curb its spread which has to date caused unnecessary

Acting Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr Michelle Ruvimbo Gadzayi, said, “The
province reported 75 suspected cases in the second outbreak of cholera (62 UMP,
10 Murehwa, 2 Marondera and 1 Chikomba) and the first case was reported on
September 20,2023 from UMP. From the 75 suspected cases Rapid Diagnostic
Tests were done resulting in 20 positives and 23 culture specimens were collected
and from the results received seven positives.

“A total of three confirmed deaths (2 UMP and 1 Murehwa) and 10 suspected
community deaths (all the 10 from UMP) have been reported under the period under
review. Currently there are no active cases. The province had five CTC established
to admit cholera patients namely Nharira Clinic, Chitimbe Clinic and
Mashambanhaka Clinic for UMP, Murehwa Hospital for Murehwa and Range Clinic
for Chikomba in the second wave.

“UMP district had identified three hotspots namely Mutanho village in ward 14,
Mudzimbasekwa village in ward 15 and Chihwai village in ward 9. On October
17,2023 an alert was received of eight suspected cholera cases in Mudzimbasekwa.
All the eight suspected cases had attended a funeral at Mutanho village since they
were from the same church and were related.”

Dr Gadzayi added that a further nine suspected cholera cases were reported at
Chitimbe clinic on October 18.

“A total of five suspected cases had attended the same funeral in Mutanho village
and the remaining four were contacts of individuals who had attended the funeral in
Mutanho village. On the same day, two suspected cholera cases were also reported
at Mashambanhaka clinic. These two had also attended the funeral in Mutanho
village. To date a total of 39 cases with epidemiological linkage to Mutanho funeral
have been recorded.

“Amongst the 14 water sources that were sampled and tested, one at Bhandi shallow
well had numerous faecal coliforms observed. The well has since been disinfected.

With regards to the recommendations, we urge people to drink and use safe water,
wash hands often with soap and water, before, during and after food preparation,
wash hands after using the toilet, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before
consumption, avoid washing dead bodies of suspected cholera cases, all cholera
deaths to be supervised by health care workers, those with signs and symptoms of
cholera to report to the nearest clinic or health facility for assessment and treatment
and drink oral rehydration solution (salt and sugar solution),” the Provincial Medical
Director said.

The recently elected Uzumba legislator, Wiriranai Muchemwa has mobilised
resources that are now being channeled towards ending cholera related deaths in
his constituency and beyond.

In a recent interview with Chaminuka News, Muchemwa said:“We were hit in this
district and our hot spots include Nhakiwe business centre and Chitimbe area. We
recorded a lot of cases from those areas and of course from other areas dotted
across the district.

He added that various organisations and companies had responded positively and
donated fuel, soaps and other material needed in the fight against the spread of the
disease. One of the measures taken was to ensure constant supply of portable water
at Nhakiwa.

There are plans to upgrade the borehole that supplies Nhakiwa business centre and
drill another one so that water can be accessed by residents. One organisation, Drill
For Life had pledged to drill two boreholes at some of the hotspots so that water
challenges are reduced.

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