‘Cholera Outbreak In Hwange Linked To Communal Toilets And Water Shortages’
The spread of cholera in Hwange is exacerbated by the absence of clean running water and the use of communal toilets, leading to over 30 cases and two fatalities in the coal mining town.
The cumulative cases in Matabeleland North have now reached 37, with Hwange urban reporting 16 new suspected cases, bringing the provincial total to 37, including two suspected deaths.
Health authorities express concern about the rising cases of diarrhea in Hwange District, emphasizing communal toilets lacking running water as the main issue.
Last Friday, Matabeleland North documented 11 cases, five from Hwange, and six from Binga and Umguza districts.
Notably, Victoria Falls has no cholera cases, as all suspected and confirmed cases are concentrated in Hwange town.
Residents share communal toilets without running water, resorting to using buckets for flushing. The Ministry of Health and Child Care calls for urgent improvements in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (Wash) facilities to curb the disease’s spread.
Dr. Thabani Moyo, Matabeleland North provincial epidemiological and disease control officer, emphasizes the need to intensify Wash programs, particularly in areas like Number 2 and Number 3, where communal toilets lacking water are prevalent.
Dr. Moyo stresses that cholera could be contained if residents uphold high hygiene standards. Health officials have escalated awareness campaigns in affected areas.
To address the situation, the province establishes two cholera treatment centers at Mkhosana Clinic in Victoria Falls and Hwange Colliery Hospital.
All in-care cases are managed at these facilities, and the seven districts have been directed to establish cholera treatment centers.
Resources are being mobilized for the province to commence case management training, aiming to mitigate the cholera outbreak.