Zimbabwe says it has contained cases of typhoid recorded in the capital, Harare, over the fortnight. However, the City says it remains on high alert to prevent new infections as the city prepares to shut down the waterworks for maintenance.
A banner posted outside a clinic in Hopely, one of the disease prone townships, advises residents to avoid unsafe water sources and to wash hands and food before eating. It’s a warning that comes after the City confirmed cases of typhoid.
One of the cases is from Hopely. But there is no running water in their homes in Hopely, children can be seen playing in pools of rain water, women washing clothes in shallow wells.
Grace Pindurai contracted typhoid last year. “So I draw borehole water for drinking but for washing clothes I use water from shallow wells, but I can’t be sure it’s safe,” says Pindurai.
Once it gets to 30 cases in one area it qualifies to be called an outbreak, what we have just six cases
Her friend Priviledge Mawire says even the borehole water does not look clean. “Even borehole water has green things floating in it. There are so few of them and too many people trying to draw water. We use water purification pills but I don’t see the use because the water is dirty,” says Mawire.
With the confirmed sufferers under quarantine, the city of Harare says the disease has been contained. “Once it gets to 30 cases in one area it qualifies to be called an outbreak, what we have just six cases. We have dispatched medical teams in those areas to go and investigate the magnitude of the cases so we avoid further spread of the disease,” says City of Harare spokesperson, Dorothy Mavholwane.
The municipality plans to turns of the water for the weekend. It is the first of the -city wide shutdowns planned for the next six months as the city undertakes major rehabilitation of the Morton Jaffray water works.
“We remain on high alert because of the rains and the watercuts that we are experiencing because of the morton jaffray water works,” says Mavholwane.-SABC