MPILO Central Hospital has isolated patients suffering from diarrhoea admitted to the facility to prevent the disease from spreading to other patients with different ailments.

Twelve people have died since the outbreak of typhoid and dysentery in Bulawayo last month.

More than 1 500 people have been infected by the diseases in Luveve and surrounding suburbs with more than 130 having recovered by Monday last week.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it is yet to establish the source of the disease outbreak but residents blame council water.

Government says water shedding and vandalism of sewerage infrastructure could have caused the gastrointestinal disease outbreak.

Acting Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director Dr Xolani Ndlovu said:

“That (isolating patients) is the procedure that is followed with such outbreaks so that the disease does not spread to other patients who are already admitted to the hospital with other ailments.

“I don’t have the details as to how many patients have been separated at the moment but what I know is that we had admitted more than 100 people.

“The number includes those who have been discharged, died or still under treatment.”

The disease is said to have largely affected children so the paediatric department had most of the isolated patients.

The local authority says while it is still investigating the source of the disease outbreak, residents should observe high hygienic levels to prevent further spread of the disease.

To contain the spread of the infection, BCC has exempted Luveve and surrounding suburbs from the 144-hour weekly water shedding exercise so that residents can effectively deal with the diarrhoeal diseases. The council is providing free treatment for patients with diarrhoeal symptoms after observing that some of them were delaying seeking treatment due to lack of funds.

BCC is also conducting door to door campaigns to identify ailing residents who were also failing to visit health centres and had visited more than 200 homes by Monday last week. Government has set up a technical team to investigate the disease outbreak.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is leading the Government’s technical team.
Government deployed army doctors to complement the city’s health department in fighting the spread of the disease and released $7,4 million for the drilling of 10 boreholes in the city to improve water supplies.

– Chronicle

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