By Staff Writer
A doctors group has revealed that nine people succumbed to suspected diarrhoea in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo following the disease’s outbreak which has seen several cases being reported in last few weeks.
In a statement the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) hinted that the disease is slowly taking its toll beyond adequate public attention.
“To date over 1 500 suspected cases and 9 deaths have been recorded. The diarrhoeal disease outbreak has largely been attributed to the serious water crisis facing the City of Bulawayo, particularly in Luveve and surrounding areas,” ZADHR said.
The doctors group said the outbreak compounds an already existing public health crisis posed by the COVID19 pandemic.
ZADHR said while the measures already taken by the local authority in Bulawayo which has seen the setting up of designated treatment centers for children ,adult screening and treatment among others measures is commended, there is still need to do more.
“There is need for a combination of immediate short and long term responses to the waste crises in all the urban centers across Zimbabwe to mitigate unnecessary morbidity and mortality from water borne diseases such as typhoid , cholera and other forms of infectious diseases,” ZADHR said.
The doctors group urged authorities to put in place mechanisms which address the problem of contaminated water in the city.
ZADHR said as an urgent mitigatory measure the municipality of Bulawayo must provide clean and safe water through the use of bowsers in affected areas and in other parts to respond to the growing crisis.
They also suggested that council must conduct awareness campaigns on water treatment methods for home use such as boiling water and use of home certified treatment chemicals.
“Further the council must investigate and identify the pathological cause of diarrhea outbreak so as to ensure a targeted response and quicker improved health outcomes. Government needs to expedite the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project so as to address the perennial water challenges in Bulawayo and Matabeleland Region, ”ZADHR added.