|Nation warned of diarrhoea outbreaks|
|Saturday, 09 June 2012 11:26|
Government says all health institutions should be on high alert as diarrhoeral outbreaks are expected this winter season particularly among young children due to rota virus.
While it is common for young children to be affected by diarrhoea during the summer season it has however emerged that a new trend is developing, in which winter is being associated with diarrhoeral outbreaks in infants.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has confirmed the latest development saying a virus called rota has triggered the risk among infants to contract diarrhoea hence the need for council clinics and government hospitals to be on high alert.
The Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira says infants and young children are likely to experience diarrhoea outbreaks due to lack of adequate clean water for drinking and domestic use.
She urged mothers to treat water before using it to avoid the outbreaks of diarrhoea.
“We are saying there is need for the health authorities to be on high alert of the threat of diarrhoea caused by the rota virus.
“Mothers should ensure that their families have access to clean water. The virus that causes the disease is there for real,” she said.
Zimbabwe will next year start vaccinating infants against diarrhoea caused by the rotaviruses.
Rotavirus vaccine protects children from rota viruses, which are the leading cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.
Each year an estimated 453 000 children die from diarrhoeal disease caused by rotavirus, most of whom live in developing countries, and another two million are hospitalised.
In 2009, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that a rota-virus vaccine be included in all national immunisation programmes.