By A Correspondent-Bulawayo has recorded a fourth diarrhoea outbreak since last year, with 157 cases reported so far in the high-density suburb of Tshabalala Extension.
The last outbreak in the city was in May this year when 50 cases were reported in Emganwini suburb.
In recent years, the city’s worst outbreak was reported in June last year, when 13 people died after nearly 2 000 residents fell ill in Luveve after raw sewage-contaminated drinking water.
Last year in October about 100 people, mostly children, were treated for running tummies in Mzilikazi and surrounding suburbs.
The diarrhoea outbreaks follow the 2020 Auditor-General’s report tabled before Parliament that stated that Bulawayo is among six local authorities at risk of outbreak of water-borne diseases that could lead to deaths due to failure to manage sewer reticulation systems.
According to residents, the latest outbreak in Tshabalala Extension is believed to have started on Thursday last week after their drinking water was contaminated due to a burst sewer pipe.
Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Maphios Siamuchembu said they are conducting investigations to ascertain what could be causing the diarrhoea outbreak.
“I can confirm that a diarrhoea disease has broken out in Tshabalala extension. The first patients were seen on Monday and so far, we have a total of 157 cases, of which 106 were attended to at local health facilities,” he said.