Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
ABOUT 180 people from Hwange town have been treated for diarrhoea and the outbreak is suspected to have been caused by contaminated drinking water.
Matabeleland North provincial medical director, Dr Pugie Chimberengwa, confirmed the outbreak and said his office was waiting for lab results to determine the source of the outbreak.
The affected patients reside in Phase 3 of Empumalanga residential area in Hwange town.
Dr Chimberengwa said the first case was reported on June 25 at Empumalanga Clinic and thereafter the figure increased sharply and his office had since declared an outbreak.
He said the clinic recorded 44 diarrhoea cases in just two days and most of the cases were coming from the same area.
Dr Chimberengwa said no deaths had been recorded but what was worrying was that some people suffering from the diarrhoea were reluctant to seek treatment.
He said 65 percent of the affected were adults and urged them to seek treatment early.
“A health team visited Empumalanga Clinic where it was highlighted that a total of 183 cases had been attended as of July 2. The people had been complaining of passing three or more watery stools daily and it was also established that the clinic had run out of Metronidazole which was later provided by St Patrick’s Mission Hospital,” said Dr Chimberengwa.
He said drinking water contaminated by sewer is suspected to be the source of the diarrhoea outbreak and ZINWA which provides water to the town is also waiting for lab results.
“The visiting team highlighted that there was a challenge of sewer pipes blockages but the suspected area was excavated and nothing was found or detected,” said Dr Chimberengwa.
He said more samples were being collected for further tests as the source of the outbreak is suspected to be contaminated drinking water.
Dr Chimberengwa said control measures like provision of safe drinking water and food hygiene management were being intensified. — @thamamoe