Close to half a million people infected with diarrhea in 2012
By Tichaona Sibanda
Close to half a million people in Zimbabwe were infected with diarrhea in
2012, according to the weekly Ministry of Health and Child Welfare disease
Released last week the report said 5 people died of diarrhoea in December
with more than 9,000 others contracting the disease in that month.
A total of 281 died from the disease in 2012 while over 460,000 others
developed the condition. Diarrhea is usually a symptom of an infection in
the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral
and parasitic organisms.
Infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from
person-to-person, as a result of poor hygiene. Diarrheal disease is
treatable with a solution of clean water, sugar and salt, and with zinc
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said while millions of dollars have
been poured into improving access to drinking water in Zimbabwe in the last
few years, most areas still have little or no access to clean water.
Muchemwa said: ‘The report by the Ministry of health also points to a total
collapse of the water reticulation system in the country. In Harare alone,
the city council needs $3 million a month for chemicals to get rid of
pollution and raw sewage from Lake Chivero.’.
He explained that the disease usually spreads during the rainy season when
families access water from unprotected sources.
‘We are having rains now in Zimbabwe and widespread unhygienic practices
during water collection and storage, poor hand washing and limited access to
sanitation facilities perpetuate the transmission of diarrhea in the local
communities,’ he said.
Until the government and councils prioritise the basic human right of access
to clean water, people will continue to die and , with diarrhea, it’s
normally the children who die.
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