Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
ZIMBABWE last recorded a cholera case in March this year owing to the ongoing national clean up campaigns which have been hailed by health practitioners.
Last year about 50 people died due to cholera in Harare and some parts of the Midlands after officials failed to secure water resources.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care weekly surveillance report, there were no cholera cases and deaths reported during the week ending 23 June 2019.
“The last cholera case was reported on March 12, 2019 in Shamva District. This brings the total number of people who have died of cholera to 69 and 10 421 cases reported so far this year,” read the report.
Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Portia Manangazira said cholera has been kept at bay by the carefully targeted vaccination of high risk areas or hot spots in Harare, Epworth and Chitungwiza.
She commended the National Clean Up days as they remind everybody to maintain personal and community hygiene.
“We appeal to all responsible authorities to improve safe water availability so we maintain the cholera free status on our way to cholera elimination. We also got vaccines to cover the cyclone-hit Chimanimani and Chipinge districts since neighbouring Mozambique was already in full-fledged outbreak,” she said.
According to Dr Manangazira, there are 13 new suspected typhoid cases recorded during the period under review.
“Thirteen new suspected typhoid cases and no deaths were reported during the week ending June 23, 2019. The cases were reported from North Western, West South West, Harare Central Hospital, all in Harare province and Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo Province,” she said. The cumulative total number of suspected typhoid cases now stands at 5 394 and 12 deaths since January 2019.
“Typhoid outbreak in Harare is ongoing despite the vaccination conducted in the eight most affected suburbs. The next phase is to vaccinate everyone aged 15 years and below and then eventually introducing the typhoid vaccine into the childhood immunisation programme.
This will put an end to typhoid cases and also preserve the antibiotics since as you know we already documented significant resistance,” said Dr Manangazira adding that the ultimate prevention of all waterborne diseases remains the provision of adequate safe water and sanitation. — @thamamoe