Gwanda Provincial Hospital has handled over 25 cases of diarrheal diseases over the past week although none has been confirmed to be cholera or typhoid.
Gwanda Provincial Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Puggie Chimberengwa has allayed fears that the district has been hit by the deadly cholera epidemic following an upsurge in cases of diarrhoea in the past week.
Dr Chimberengwa revealed that the more than 25 people who received treatment for diarrhoea at the health institution reside mostly in Gwanda’s high density suburbs and the surroundings mines.
“We recently had two patients that were in the ward one from Spitkop suburb, Garikai /Hlalani Kuhle and the other from Collen Bawn. We took samples and we sent some of them to private laboratories and some to the public hospital laboratory so that we get the tests. For now we don’t have confirmed cases of cholera, or typhoid,” he said.
Dr Chimberengwa added that a gap analysis on consumables, laboratory capacity and skills competence has been undertaken to strengthen the hospital’s capacity to effectively deal with the water borne diseases.
“We are ready to deal with cholera. However, as we have been doing drills we have been seeing loopholes that we are strengthening. For example we realised that we did not have the rapid diagnostic tests but we have already ordered that from Natpharm and other consumables so that we do our tests and confirmations locally. We are confident that if we get any case we will be able to manage it,” said Dr Chimberengwa.
Meanwhile, as part of its cholera emergency preparedness strategies the district has resolved to put in place two cholera treatment sites at the provincial hospital and at Phakama.
The treatment sites
These will have a capacity of 10 beds each.
The Municipality of Gwanda with the assistance environmental health technicians is expected to intensify water quality monitoring.
Community sensitisation is also underway to curb an outbreak of the water borne disease.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care using a hailer to raise awareness on cholera at Phakama Business Centre in Gwanda.
There have been 21 confirmed deaths since the outbreak of the epidemic in Harare’s Glen View suburb and government has declared a state of emergency to enable the necessary assistance to be rendered.