Masvingo City has recorded its first typhoid case in three years as water shortages that have dogged the city for more than a week persist.
By Tatenda Chitagu
A six-year-old boy yesterday tested positive for the water-borne disease at Masvingo General Hospital and was being kept under quarantine in the children’s ward when The Standard visited to cross-check the report.
The father of the child was also put on typhoid treatment and had bought the drugs at a local pharmacy. Pharmacists at one drug outlet said they were not surprised that the city had recorded a typhoid case because of the shortage of potable water in the town since 22 August.
Masvingo provincial medical director Ammadious Shamhu yesterday said he was not yet aware that typhoid had been detected in the city. The last typhoid case in Masvingo was detected in 2015.
“I am not sure yet, let me find out. You can call me later,” Shamhu said.
Masvingo residents pressure group, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Alliance (Murra), recently filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking to have Masvingo City Council provide the town’s estimated 100 000 residents with clean water.
In his court application filed on Thursday, Anoziva Muguti, Murra director, said by failing to provide potable water, which was a basic human right, the council was endangering the lives of residents and the continuation of water cuts “will likely cause irreparable harm to the applicants and all those they represent”.
Ten people died in the Midlands capital of Gweru early last month following an outbreak of typhoid.
Masvingo municipality has attributed the water shortages to two broken water pumps which they say may take weeks to repair as some of the spare parts had to be imported.
Currently, one pump is functional and the pumping capacity is below 50%, the local authority said.