The cholera outbreak in Chegutu is now under control, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said. Speaking after touring health and council facilities in Chegutu and Norton on Saturday, Dr Parirenyatwa said while Government was attending to all suspected cholera cases, no one is admitted to any hospital over the disease at the moment.
He said there was no need to panic over the disease, while increasing alertness in the communities.
“No one is admitted for cholera across Zimbabwe at the moment. We had 94 cases of suspected cholera and only six were positive. Unfortunately, four of these cases recorded in Chegutu were fatal,” he said.
The first cholera case was recorded in Chegutu on January 18 when an elderly woman died while three men succumbed to the disease.
Six people who tested positive were treated and discharged at Chegutu District Hospital.
A suspected cholera case recorded in Norton tested negative.
Dr Parirenyatwa also dispelled rumours that the disease had spread to other parts of Zimbabwe.
“Cholera cases had been reported in Chegutu where we lost at least four patients some time back. I want to let you know that we are coming from there and no one is admitted.
“There were 94 cholera suspected cases which all tested negative, with six having tested positive,” he said, while addressing officials and staff at Katanga Clinic in Norton.
He took a swipe at alarmists who were spreading falsehoods over the disease.
Dr Parirenyatwa, however, urged people, especially those in Norton, to be on high alert of symptoms of cholera.
“I heard most of you here in Norton are panicking over a cholera outbreak, but I am glad to let you know that not even a single case was ever recorded here. The reports you heard were only suspected cases, but you are still very safe,” he said.
He said Government had set up high level preparedness systems across Zimbabwe including in Norton where a treatment centre was already functional at Katanga Clinic.
“After the Chegutu outbreak that emanated from a funeral, the ministry followed all those people in their respective places engaging in some cholera awareness to prevent the spread of the disease,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said Government officials had followed up people who attended the funeral in Epworth, Highfield and Mabvuku.
“As I’m speaking, there are about 70 people who died of cholera in Zambia, in Namibia it is reported that cholera cases were confirmed yesterday (Friday), there are also cholera cases reported in Kenya,” he said.
The health minister urged people to exercise extreme caution while taking great hygienic measures.
“What causes cholera is dirty water, so please may there be great improvement in drinking safe, clean water and garbage collection. Some of us we are selling our products on dirty places all those things causes cholera,” he said.
Special Advisor to the President Christopher Mutsvangwa hailed the Ministry of Health and Child Care for curbing the spread of cholera in Zimbabwe.
He said President Mnangagwa was very much concerned over the cholera outbreak.
“We are happy that there are no confirmed cholera cases here in Norton.
“In 2008, we lost some souls in Norton and Chegutu and this cannot happen again. So we need to improve in everything that has to do with our health matters, that is, garbage collection, sewage disposal, drinking clean water; so that we will win this race,” he said.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland West Webster Shamu urged every Zimbabwean citizen to fight against cholera regardless of political differences.
“Cholera does not consider your political background, it attacks anyone. So please let us unite in this fight as we all aim to develop our nation.
“If one gets sick then it simply means he will not report for work and that will mean for that period our development as a nation will be affected,” he said.
Government has set up a treatment camp at Chinengundu Clinic in Chegutu to treat all suspected cholera cases.