CITY of Harare has raised fears of a typhoid outbreak in the capital after suspected and confirmed cases were recorded in various high-density suburbs.
Statistics released show that Glen Norah high-density suburb has become a typhoid hotspot after 63 suspected cases and nine confirmed cases were reported as of October 17, 2022.
Other suspected cases have been reported in Glen View and Budiriro among other high-density suburbs.
According to council’s health department’s situational report dated December 14 , 2022, the typhoid outbreak may be traced to water challenges.
“We have engaged the water department on the water supply issue so that the hotspot areas can be prioritised for now, but due to capacity problems the supply has only slightly improved with some areas getting water two to three days a week.”
Residential areas have been receiving erratic water supplies from council due to incessant power cuts as well as unavailability of water treatment chemicals.
The local authority expressed fears that a cholera outbreak may hit the city, which was badly affected by the 2008 to 2009 cholera pandemic that claimed more than 4,000 lives and afflicted nearly 100,000 across the country.
“If we are to experience a huge outbreak of cholera, the staff complement that we have currently will not be able to cope. Our nursing capacity is currently at 50%.
We are strengthening health education in all hotspot areas. All those with signs and symptoms of typhoid and watery diarrhoea are referred to the nearest health institution and this may be improving our case detection, hence higher numbers.”