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Zimbabwe faces danger of cholera outbreak

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Harare (New Ziana)-The government has warned Zimbabweans to be on the lookout for possible outbreak of cholera in the face of the outbreak of the highly contagious diarrheal disease in three neighbouring countries.

The warning also follows the recording of two imported cholera cases in Chegutu last week.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said some cholera cases had been reported in neighbouring Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique within the SADC region and locals needed to be alert.

“To date, over 43 000 cases and 1 400 deaths have been reported in the region since January 2023. Due to the high human traffic across our borders, there is a high risk of importation of cases into the country especially considering that Zimbabwe is a transit route for most SADC countries. The public are therefore advised to be on the alert for symptoms of watery diarrhoea amongst travellers from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia and alert their nearest health facilities for treatment,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said a diarrheal case reported on the February 15 in Chegutu town, Mashonaland West, was confirmed as that of cholera. The patient had presented with watery diarrhoea and vomiting on the February.

“On the 17th of February 2023 a second case was reported, again in Chegutu town and investigations are underway.”

The first confirmed case has since recovered. In view of the above, the ministry would like to remind the public of the spread of diarrhoeal and other enteric diseases during the rainy season,” the Ministry said.

“For prevention of cholera people are advised to make sure you drink and use safe water and boil it at all times, practice hygiene at all times including washing hands before eating, after visiting the toilet and desist from eating unhygienic prepared food, use proper latrines or other sanitation systems, cook food well, keep it covered and eat it hot.”

In cases where cholera was suspected, the ministry advised members of the public to visit the nearest health facility for prompt treatment.

People presenting with with watery diarrhoea were also advised to immediately report to the nearest health facility or call the Ministry’s Public Health Emergency Operations Centre toll free number 2019 for assistance.

New Ziana

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