Cholera kills 17 in South Africa and 9 in neighboring Zimbabwe
- At least 17 people have died as a result of a cholera outbreak in Hamanskaral township, near Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. Another recent outbreak of waterborne disease has reported nine deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe.
- In February, the World Health Organization said cholera cases in Africa were rising sharply amid a global increase.
- Although health officials have not yet officially confirmed the cause of the cholera outbreak, the situation has been blamed on poor sewage management and the instability of local government in South Africa’s capital city.
At least 17 people have died in an outbreak of cholera in Hemanskraal township outside South Africa’s capital Pretoria, officials said on Wednesday.
The number increased from the initial 10 deaths reported by local health authorities earlier this week.
There are 29 more laboratory-confirmed cholera cases, while 67 people have been hospitalized, officials said. Clinic for Gastrointestinal Infections.
Health officials have not yet confirmed the exact source of the cholera outbreak, but poor sewage management and the instability of local government in South Africa’s capital city have been blamed for the situation. The City of Tshwane Municipality, which takes in Pretoria and surrounding areas, has had at least five different mayors since the ruling African National Congress Party lost control in local government elections in 2016.
A water plant in Pretoria that is responsible for managing wastewater for large parts of Hamanskraal is in urgent need of an upgrade costing about $130 million and has not operated properly for years, the city’s mayor said. doing.
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“It’s been at capacity since about 2005,” said Tshwane executive mayor Cilliers Brink, who was elected in March.
South Africa is the latest southern African country to experience a cholera outbreak following deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi this year. In February, the World Health Organization said cholera cases in Africa were rising sharply amid a global increase. At least 12 African countries An outbreak of cholera has been reported this year.
Zimbabwean health authorities have confirmed nine recent deaths since February, along with another 28 suspected cholera deaths. The Ministry of Health said it had recorded 1,404 suspected cholera cases and 359 laboratory-confirmed cases.
Malawi reported earlier this year that more than 1,000 people had died in a widespread outbreak that began in March 2022. It is Malawi’s worst cholera outbreak in 20 years, the WHO said, with more than 36,000 cases.
Cholera is a waterborne disease. Due to drinking contaminated food or water. The infection is extremely dangerous, although it can be easily treated once identified.
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NGO Gift of the Givers has distributed over 3,200 sealed 5 liter water bottles to the local Jubilee Hospital of Hamanskraal community and nearby clinics where patients are being treated.
In neighboring Zimbabwe, a country with a history of deadly cholera outbreaks, officials say the capital Harare is becoming the epicenter of the current outbreak. Residents in some suburbs have gone months without tap water, forcing them to dig shallow wells and boreholes contaminated by raw sewage flowing from burst pipes.
Cholera cases in Africa are attributed to local sanitation problems, but also to climatic factors such as storms and floods Targeted parts of South Africa Recently as well as the global shortage of cholera vaccine.