Dirty water, illegal vending fan typhoid outbreak

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The typhoid outbreak that has hit parts of Kuwadzana is reportedly a result of contaminated water, raw meat sold in the open and illegal restaurants that have sprouted in the populous suburb.

The city fathers on Thursday said they were working out a strategy to arrest the spread of a typhoid outbreak that has hit the suburb in the last week resulting in more than 40 people being hospitalised.

Our main challenges are illegal vending, using unprotected water, people selling raw and cooked meat in the open. There are many people who are selling sadza in the open and all sorts of foodstuffs, said acting town clerk Prosper Chonzi.

There are no casualties as yet, no deaths in Kuwadzana, but the situation is worse than what we witnessed in Dzivarasekwa last year. In this case people are very sick, said Chonzi.

We have to prepare for eventualities and take the same measures to Mabvuku, Tafara, Mufakose and other areas, Chonzi said.

Chonzi said the city was experiencing diarrhoeal outbreak in some suburbs, including Warren Park, where it is alleged residents contracted typhoid after drinking contaminated water from a borehole.

We are getting at least four or five suspects of typhoid.

Our last case of typhoid on a daily basis was in December, but we have controlled that in Dzivarasekwa. We have encountered in Warren Park 490 patients of watery diarrhoea.

The city has been struggling to provide adequate water for all suburbs in the city because demand is outstripping supply.

There are growing fears in the city that if water supplies remain limited, another cholera outbreak, reminiscent of the 2008 scourge that killed more than 4 000 people in 2008, can not be ruled out.