Cholera claims 9

Nine people died recently while 194 were hospitalised following a fresh outbreak of cholera in Chiredzi, a senior provincial health official confirmed on Thursday.

Masvingo provincial medical director Robert Mudyiradima told NewsDay on Thursday the most affected areas include Lapache, Umbono and Nyahombe in Lowveld district.

He said the latest outbreak, believed to have started in neighbouring Chisumbanje Tea Estates in Manicaland, had left 194 people hospitalised.

“I can confirm the cholera outbreak in Chiredzi, which started in Manicaland. 194 cases have been reported since February, while nine people have died so far,” said Mudyiradima.

“As you are aware, Chiredzi borders Manicaland, where the disease was first detected. We believe farm workers moving in search of jobs brought the disease to Chiredzi. That is why Chiredzi has been a problem area.”

But, he assured residents the outbreak was under control. “Our health officials are on the ground and will only leave the district after being convinced that the outbreak is over. The situation is under control,” he said.

“I believe there are equal efforts to curb the disease in Manicaland so that there are no incidents of re-infection in Chiredzi,” he said. Last year, one person died while 57 others were infected following another cholera outbreak that hit Chiredzi and Mwenezi districts in March.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 4 000 people died of cholera countrywide in 2008 at the height of the economic meltdown which paralysed the health delivery system.

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