THE Health ministry will go all out to eradicate the cholera scourge which hit Harare in the past week, claiming 16 lives and threatening many more, newly-appointed Health minister Obediah Moyo has said.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ OBEY MANAYITI/KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA
Moyo, who said he did not have full information on the resources needed to deal an effective blow on cholera, told the media just before taking oath of office that his target was limiting the spread.
“My first real challenge is cholera, it means we have to work really hard to eradicate cholera, put all means and systems to ensure that cholera is controlled.
At the moment, things are working well, I have checked with ministry officials, I can assure you that everything is under control, but we will keep an eye and ensure that we limit the spread,” he said.
The former Chitungwiza Central Hospital chief executive also said he will also take his sights to the supply of drugs, which have dogged the health sector, causing many avoidable deaths, owing to unavailability or unaffordability of drugs.
“We move into drugs, we need to improve that supply chain, the availability and affordability, this is a critical area in the delivery of health service in this country.
We will ensure that we modernise this delivery through the involvement of the Finance ministry,” he said.
Moyo vowed to ensure that nurses and doctors will never down tools again, saying he will introduce better working conditions for healthcare workers.
“We need to ensure that our staff are well looked after and we want to look at the issue of tariffs for the practising doctors and we want to review all that for the better,” he said.
Early this year, government-run health institutions were crippled by a strike as doctors and other health personnel demanded better working conditions, adequate equipment and drugs.
Moyo refused to speak on his qualifications, instead saying he is just a hard worker and administrator dedicated to deliver service.
“I am a hard working person and I am very pragmatic and I am a medical strategist, I am mostly a health care administrator and I want to make sure that I put my capability to good use for the benefit of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Meanwhile, the cholera death toll has risen to 18 with the number of people getting affected rising by the day.
Acting director for health service in Harare, Clemence Duri yesterday said: “What I can confirm for now is that we now have 18 deaths and these have occurred at institutions [Budiriro Clinic and the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital] and also in the community.” Duri said.
Duri said more than 300 cases have been reported in areas like Budiriro and Glen View.
He urged residents to report any suspected cholera case early to hospitals or clinics so as to avoid more deaths.
“The information that I have for now is that 234 cases have been recorded in Glen View, yesterday in Budiriro 106 cases had passed through the clinic and as of 3pm the number has increased to 180, in Nazareth 70 new cases have been reported.
I encourage people to report the cases of cholera early to any clinics nearby, people are being treated for free,” Duri said.