Staff crisis hampers Mberengwa cholera fight

A CRITICAL shortage of health workers is hampering efforts to contain the cholera outbreak that hit Midlands province’s Mberengwa district during the festive season, amid revelations the affected area only has one village health worker serving a population of about 10 000 people.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

Nurses from Mnene Mission Hospital are assisting in the interim.

Midlands provincial medical director Simon Nyadundu confirmed the development to Southern Eye, saying efforts were being made to ensure that health staff is beefed up.

“Firstly, we need to acknowledge that countrywide, there is a low village health worker ratio in rural areas. So Mberengwa, and in particular Chomubobo community, where the current cholera outbreak is existent, happens to be one of those areas where we have inadequate village health workers. We only have one for that area, but we are pushing to beef up the numbers,” he said.

Nyadundu, however, highlighted that the recruitment of health workers takes time as they needed to undergo training.

“The latest figures I have to indicate that we now have 26 cumulative cases of cholera in Mberengwa. Only two people have died and that figure has not risen since the onset of the outbreak. The patients that tested positive to cholera were treated and discharged,” he said.

Last week, the figure stood at 16.

Chomubobo is a mining area. It is suspected that gold panners could have carried the disease from Mukaradzi in Mt Darwin, which was hit by an outbreak in November last year.

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