Gweru residents to get water treatment pills

Gweru residents to get water treatment pills
Published: 10 August 2018 (164 Views)
GOVERNMENT says it is providing water treatment pills to every household in Gweru as a matter of urgency to contain the typhoid outbreak, which has so far killed five people in the city.

The move by the Government comes as the Minister of Child and Health Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa condemned tap water provided by the city council and borehole water in the city as unsafe for human consumption.

To date, over 350 residents have been treated for typhoid while others are still admitted in Government, council and private health institutions in Gweru from July 23 when the first case was recorded.

Minister Parirenyatwa said treatment pills were the way to go as it had been noted that patients admitted or seeking treatment for typhoid related illness were spread across the town contrary to previous reports, which indicated that the patients were mainly from Mkoba 15, 18 and 20.

Dr Parirenyatwa said this after touring Gweru Provincial Hospital, Mkoba 1 Clinic and Mkoba 13 Polyclinic to assess the impact of the typhoid outbreak.

"We have been to see the patients and it is clear that Gweru tap water and that from boreholes is not safe for drinking. We have patients some from Mkoba 1, Mtapa and Mkoba 15, 18 and 20 who are saying they fell sick after either drinking water from the tap or from the borehole.

"So I am overriding any other statement that has been made before and declare that water in Gweru is unsafe for human consumption. We are going to provide water treatment pills and council must start providing water to residents through bowsers so that they have water to drink," he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said many people could not afford bottled water and therefore there was need to provide water treatment pills. He said at the same time, bottled water at times was not safe for drinking and therefore residents should treat water for drinking.

"We are aware that there are a lot of illegal water connections here by residents who built houses and connected their houses to council water lines illegally. That is also another source of contamination. So council must start tracing such illegal water connections. Gweru water and sewer pipes also run near each other and that must be addressed to avoid seepages," said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He said some patients had also shown some signs that are not related to typhoid- a sign he said of some harmful chemicals in Gweru water.

"We are not ruling out anything and therefore the need to be extra careful to leave no stone unturned. I want you to have a taskforce that meets every day as we move towards curing this outbreak," he said.

City of Gweru on Monday declared an outbreak of typhoid following the death of about five people and recording a number of residents who fell sick after drinking contaminated water.

Residents most affected by typhoid were mainly from Mkoba 15, 18 and 20 high density suburbs before this latest indication that council water is unsafe for consumption. The Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Owen Ncube said council should foot burial bills incurred by residents since it took it 20 days to come in the open and declare an outbreak of typhoid.

"Council knew about this and they said nothing, they kept quiet and didn't notify Government departments and they must foot the bill for the burial of all those who died," he said.

- the herald

Tags: Gweru, Pills, Water,
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