Street food dangerous
6 January 2017
. . . as typhoid fears mount
The Harare City Council has urged residents to stop buying food from undesignated points as these can be sources of contracting the deadly typhoid virus.
The call was made by the City’s Health Services Director Dr Prosper Chonzi as he said there had been an increase in the cases.
“Causes of typhoid, issues to do with sanitation, personal hygiene and general vending in the streets, so what we are doing is to educate the public on awareness issues, what it is, how it is spread and how you avoid getting it, washing food before you consume it and practicing generally good personal hygiene.
“We also discourage people from consuming food from undesignated premises, especially unlicenced premises.
“Don’t just buy from anywhere, food that you don’t know how it has been prepared and how it has been stored and how it will be safe to you.
“So we encourage the public to stop that,” said Dr Chonzi.
He added that “there has been increase in the number of typhoid cases that we are seeing at our institution at Beatrice Road Infectious Hospital coming mostly from Mbare.
“So far accumulatively from the 21st of October we have had 126 suspected cases, of those 12 were confirmed and we had two deaths.
“The main symptoms of typhoid are headaches, fever, general body weakness, diarrhea, patients presenting themselves at Mbare Clinic and those that need admission are being admitted.”
Dr Chonzi also reiterated that “we will manage all the cases, our clinics are prepared.
“Not only the one in Mbare but also the other suburbs. We will deal with all the typhoid or any watery diarrhea. We have enough drugs for now.”
As part of measures to try and avoid spreading of the diseases, Dr Chonzi said “City of Harare teams are in Mbare de-blocking the sewer pipes, making sure that there is no free flowing sewer, dedicating supply of water, hope this is not a reactive effort bit it should be sustained.”
Meanwhile a team comprising of Ministry of Health and Child Care, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Environment, Water and Climate and the City of Harare has been formed to tackle the disease.
Harare reports that it has deployed its City Health Department teams in Mbare to mobilise and educate residents against behaviour that may lead to typhoid and other communicable diseases.
Harare is further “encouraging people exhibiting suspected typhoid symptoms to quickly seek medical attention, wash hands before and after eating food and after visiting the toilet. Residents are urged to consume and buy food from licensed and hygienic places.
“Wash all fruits and to PRE treat with aqua tablets all water for domestic purposes.
It was further added that symptoms of typhoid are fever; headache; general body weakness; abdominal discomfort with or without diarrhea.