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Health Ministry Warns of Potential for Further Outbreaks of Typhoid

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora said the council should have taken more useful steps such as cleaning up the streets of the densely populated suburbs affected, and enforcing sanitary by-laws

The Zimbabwean government said Monday that the current rash of typhoid outbreaks is under control – but warned that the disease could surge again in a few weeks.

Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora, speaking to reporters in the Mashonaland West provincial capital of Chinhoyi, said those infected can go for up to three weeks without showing symptoms – spreading the disease to others during that period.

Mombeshora criticized the measures taken by the Harare City Council to curb typhoid, such as the mass closure of food stands across the city.

The deputy minister said said the council should have taken more useful steps such as cleaning up the streets of the densely populated suburbs affected, and enforcing sanitary by-laws. He added that the council did not promptly notify the government.

As of late last week, more than 1,500 people had been treated for typhoid. An updated figure could not be obtained as calls to the Ministry of Health were not picked up.

Kuwadzana Councillor Gilford Mandere said the local government is taking measures to curb the spread of the disease and create conditions for healthy living and commerce.

In other health news, the global financial and economic crisis has raised concerns of donor fatigue amid turmoil in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, whose director was recently replaced amid dire funding projections.

In Zimbabwe, the National Aids Council says it collected about US$25 million last year, a 20 percent gain over 2010. But activists say they still wonder if the National Aids Council is being creative enough when reaching out to potential donors.

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