Typhoid resurfaces in Harare
Typhoid, a highly contagious bacterial disease, has resurfaced in Harare with about 200 new suspected cases having been recorded throughout the city barely two months after another outbreak hit Mbare in October 2017.
Latest statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care showed that 87 of these cases were treated. Fifty-eight people were treated at institutions in southern suburbs of Harare, which include Mbare, Glen View, Budiriro and Glen Norah.
Thirty-seven were treated at institutions from western suburbs, which include Dzivaresekwa, Kambuzuma and Kuwadzana. Other cases were treated at institutions from south west suburbs, while seven where recorded in Harare Central Business District. These new figures bring the total number of suspected cases to 2 232 and 155 confirmed since the outbreak started on October 1 2017.
No one has so far been recorded to have died from the disease. Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday said the country was in grave danger not only from typhoid but cholera as well, which has so far claimed over 70 people in neighbouring Zambia.
Dr Parirenyatwa said for as long as there is poor sanitation, irregular refuse disposal, poor sewage systems and a lot of illegal vending activities, Harare will never curb the diseases, especially this rainy season.
“We are really in grave danger because we already have typhoid and just next door there is cholera. We do not have any case of cholera so far, but our people must be extremely cautious with regards to hygiene because the same factors that cause typhoid are the same factors that cause cholera,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He said Government was concerned with the situation in Matapi flats, which continue to record more typhoid cases compared to other areas. “The last time we visited the area we condemned the flats as unsuitable for human habitation and we continue to see cases coming from the same areas,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
Efforts to get a comment from Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme on progress towards destroying Matapi flats were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered. Typhoid is caused by a bacteria called salmonella typhi. It is passed on from one person to the other through consuming contaminated food and drinking water.