Over 200 children have been treated for respiratory tract infections at Gwanda Provincial Hospital in the past few weeks, with health experts attributing the cases to the changes in weather.

Since the 19th of February, the hospital has been inundated with cases of bronchiolitis and pneumonia, treating a total of 219 children between the ages of one and seven.

The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Pugie Chimberengwa said although some of the 41 children who were admitted at the hospital had developed pneumonia, all affected patients had responded well to treatment.

“In terms of numbers, we had 41 admissions and 178 children were seen at our outpatient department. Upon admission, the children responded well to symptomatic management with oxygen. However the severe cases needed stabilisation,” said Dr Chimberengwa.

She however said the cases have gone down with the hospital having already discharged a significant number of children.

Ms Sibonginkosi Zhou is among the mothers who had to rush her child to the hospital after presenting symptoms which include high temperature, coughing, fast heart beat and failure to feed well.

“My child had lost a lot of weight due to the pneumonia but she is feeling much better now” said Ms Zhou

Health experts urged mothers with children under six months to ensure exclusive breast feeding of their infants in order to protect them from infections, while those who are older should be kept warm and be given a balanced diet at all times.