Head of Harare’s two infectious disease hospitals, Beatrice and Wilkins, Clemence Duri said most of the cases were emanating from Dzivarasekwa and Kuwadzana high-density suburbs, areas which always experience frequent water cuts.
“As of the 1st of January, we were receiving 90 cases per day in Dzivarasekwa and Kuwadzana which were the highest number of cases but now we are getting less than 20,” Duri said. “Admissions are now very few compared to January. We have since adopted a preventive strategy because of the risk that it can spread to other areas.”
More than 4 000 cases of typhoid have been recorded in Harare since October last year while nearly 1 000 people have been treated for dysentery in the past two months.
Duri said the Harare City Council has engaged kombi conductors and a local mobile operator to help in the campaign against the spread of typhoid among residents.
He told a full council meeting last week that kombi conductors would soon be given t-shirts with campaign messages.
“We will also be distributing stickers with the messages,” Duri said. “A cellphone provider has also said they will be sending messages to subscribers.”
Speaking at the same council meeting, Councillor Lancelot Mudavanhu urged council to improve waste management which he said was a major cause of the outbreak.
“We need to improve garbage collection,” Mudavanhu said. “I visited two high-density suburbs at the weekend and garbage was all over the place.”
Poor waste management continues in Harare despite the fact that the local authority was recently fined US$5 000 by Environmental Management Agency for the crime.