CHOLERA has spread to Chitungwiza after suspected cases were recorded in St Mary’s, sparking panic among residents of the dormitory town that is facing acute water shortages.
The Chitungwiza municipality has turned the Family Health Services Clinic, commonly referred to as the Baby Clinic, into a quarantine centre for the infected.
St. Mary’s city health promoters’ chairperson, Juliet Jotam, confirmed the cholera outbreak when contacted by NewsDay.
“We are doing door-to-door campaigns, giving people awareness, and teaching those hygienic habits, such as washing hands before eating. We don’t want to see a lot of people die of cholera. That’s why we believe in prevention,” she said.
In a statement, St. Mary’s Clinic Health Promotions department said: “St. Mary’s has been hit by a cholera outbreak, with a number of cases reported in the just-ended week.”
Chitungwiza’s acting health and environmental services director, Herbert Chiroodza, said they were monitoring the situation.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital spokesperson, Audrey Tasaranarwo, told NewsDay that the hospital received cholera patients from the dormitory town.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust director, Alice Kuveya, accused Chitungwiza municipality of allegedly supressing the number of confirmed cases.
“I was at St. Mary’s clinic yesterday (Tuesday) and I also met Chitrest residents’ coordinators, who said the situation is not pleasing.
Most of the boreholes drilled by the council are not working,” Kuveya said.
Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association director, Marvelous Kumalo, said Chitungwiza was a ticking health time bomb.
“I hope that the authorities will manage the cholera cases and stop the disease from spreading,” he said.
“A permanent solution involves having a water source and a water treatment plant for Chitungwiza’s rapidly growing population. The town also needs to improve its waste management systems, especially liquid waste reticulation.”
Cabinet on Tuesday revealed that Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cholera cases were 5 338 with 5 090 recoveries as at October 21, 2023.
Manicaland and Harare provinces emerged as the most affected areas with the highest number of cholera cases in the country, having reported 2 524 and 1 654 cumulative cholera cases, respectively.