THE resort town of Victoria Falls has set up a cholera treatment centre to quarantine suspected victims after the waterborne disease recently broke out in Harare and other parts of the country, killing 28 people and leaving over 5 000 hospitalised.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Victoria Falls health officer Tongai Ncube said a tent had been mounted close to the main hospital, specifically for cholera patients.
“Following the nationwide campaign through various forms, we have met as health personnel in Victoria Falls and decided to locate a strategic place to pitch a treatment centre because we cannot take cholera into a clinic on the basis that it can promote cross infection if we bring it closer to people with low immunity,” Ncube said yesterday.
“We have pitched the tent near the main hospital. We have not recorded any case, but over the days, we had a six-month baby diarrhoea case that we were following, but we have cleared it considering that the symptoms were not cholera-related and the patient had gone for three days because for cholera within three days one would have died or recovered.”
Ncube encouraged schools, churches, households and hotel institutions to stick to standard hygiene to keep the disease under check.
“We emphasise on washing of hands and having adequate water supply. You can recall that for the past weeks, we didn’t have adequate water, but we have engaged our team so that we don’t have interrupted water supplies.”
“Residents must move from ritual hand wash. We have been encouraging schools, churches and hotels to buy adequate disinfectants and they have been co-operating. Some hotels have called us to execute health education campaigns and to us, that is a perfect standard for measuring interest,” he said.
“We have also mandated our police to deal with issues of illegal food outlets as well as vending. We have fruits and vegetables that are regionally traded. People should not eat in such places nor buy from door-to-door sellers. We have closed several restaurants, but they are resisting, so we would like to urge residents to blow whistles whenever they encounter with such.”