The City of Harare has reported five confirmed cases of cholera in several neighbourhoods, including Hopely Zone 5, Stoneridge, Southlands, Granary, and Adbernie Mbare.
This announcement comes as a shock to residents, prompting urgent action to prevent further spread.
City officials suspect that three of the cholera cases originated from individuals who had visited Buhera, a region currently grappling with its own cholera outbreak. Additionally, some individuals may have contracted the disease from local sources.
This alarming revelation underscores the need for heightened vigilance and preventive measures in these affected areas and throughout greater Harare.
Of particular concern is the fact that the affected areas are primarily unplanned settlements, lacking essential municipal services and posing a high risk of disease transmission.
Local publication H-Metro recently reported that a Chitungwiza family decided to build a blair toilet in their yard due to water challenges.
Authorities are urging residents to take immediate steps to protect themselves and their communities.
Harare City’s Advisory: Key Precautions to Follow
The City of Harare has issued a vital health advisory for residents to minimize the risk of contracting cholera. According to city officials, the following precautions must be strictly observed:
- Treatment of Drinking Water: “Treat all drinking water, regardless of its source,” advises the city. This crucial step can help eliminate potential sources of contamination.
- Hand Hygiene: “Wash hands thoroughly under running water before eating and after using toilets,” emphasizes the city. Proper handwashing remains one of the most effective ways to prevent cholera transmission.
- Safe Food Practices: “Cook food thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria,” recommends the city. This includes ensuring that food is cooked to safe temperatures.
- Avoid Physical Contact: “Avoid handshakes,” warns the city. Physical contact can facilitate the spread of the disease.
- Caution with Gatherings: “Avoid eating at gatherings,” states the city. Large gatherings can facilitate the transmission of cholera.
- Vendor Awareness: “Avoid food from unlicensed vendors,” cautions the city. It’s crucial to ensure that food sources are safe and regulated.
- Fruit Hygiene: “Wash all fruits before consumption,” advises the city. This simple step can prevent potential contamination.
Seeking Medical Attention
City of Harare officials stress that individuals displaying symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting should seek immediate medical attention at the nearest council clinic. Early diagnosis and treatment can be vital in preventing the spread of cholera.
The City of Harare is working diligently to contain the outbreak and provide support to affected communities. Residents are urged to cooperate fully with health authorities and follow the recommended precautions to safeguard their health and the well-being of their neighbours.