Govt reacts to diarrhoea outbreak in Bulawayo

By ZBC Reporter
FOLLOWING the outbreak of diarrhoea in Bulawayo which has resulted in nine deaths, the government has set up a technical and a health surveillance team to embark on a door to door campaign treating and testing severe diarrhoea cases.
The authorities are also investigating allegations that burst pipes are contaminating the city’s water.
Briefing the media on Friday after a tour of Luveve Clinic, Minister of Local government and Public works, Cde July Moyo said the government has resolved to also test those affected with diarrhoea for Covid-19.
“The health and surveillance team has been sent out to treat severe diarrhoea cases from home. We have also tasked the city with testing those affected with diarrhoea for COVID-19.”
The city health department has so far treated close to one thousand diarrhoea patients. Luveve suburb has been experiencing diarrhoea cases for nearly two weeks which residents blame on municipal water.
The local authority in partnership with private laboratories in the city is conducting tests to establish the source of the outbreak. Results for the tests are expected to be released soon. Health experts have blamed the deaths on delays by residents to seek treatment.
The city council is offering free treatment to diarrhoea patients following the outbreak.
On Monday, the council launched a door-to-door treatment of diarrhoea patients and those in critical condition were being referred to Mpilo Central Hospital and were exempt from paying ambulance fees.
Luveve suburb has also been exempted from the 144-hour weekly water rationing being enforced in other suburbs.
The Minister of Local Government and Public Works Cde July Moyo who visited the city to get first-hand information on the outbreak was accompanied by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni and Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube visited Luveve suburb.
The delegation visited Luveve Clinic where most patients are being treated before touring sewer contaminated wells dug by residents to water vegetables.
After the tour, Minister Moyo had a long closed-door meeting with council officials among other provincial leaders to discuss the diarrhoea outbreak.
“We also said the city and the Provincial Medical Director (PMD) should test and find out if it is Covid-19 related. We have also asked the council to provide the results of the water tests as soon as possible to guide the way forward,” said Minister Moyo.
He said he had been informed that the death toll had risen to nine and that nearly 1 000 people have been treated for diarrhoea.

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