cholera_chipingeThe World Health Organization WHO has disputed recent reports of a cholera outbreak in Chipinge and instead suspects that this could have been due to severe food poisoning as a number of the patients reported attending local beer parties prior to developing symptoms.

This revelation is contained in a statement issued on 25 August 2009 by the Cholera command and control centre C4 on suspected cholera outbreak in Chipinge district,Manicaland was cleared by Dr.Custodia Mandlhate,WHO representative, Health Cluster notes that C4 received an alert by World Vision International on 21 August afternoon of 11 cholera like cases reported in Chipinge from 6 to 20 August 2009.
The state controlled Herald of Wednesday 26 August 2009, carried a front page story titled-Fresh cholera outbreak reported, in which it reported that twelve cholera cases had been reported at Chibuwe clinic in Chipinge.Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Henry Madzorera is reported to have confirmed the outbreak and said it was now under control.
The information is said to have been shared with the WHO representative,the emergency health action focal point, the C4 coordinators and the health and WASH cluster coordinators.The WHO representative contacted the permemant secretary, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare with the concerns.
The C4/Health Cluster contacted Medecins Du Monde MDM,lnternational Organization for Migration lOM and Medecins Sans Frontieres-Belgium MSF-B as they have programs in the area and were part of the cholera response there during the just concluded epidemic.
On investigation IOM,MDM and MSF-B reported that the cases had not ben confirmed by laboratory tests.New cases were reported on Sunday four cases and Monday 1 case.Samples taken from the five cases tested negative for cholera.According to MDM, the symptoms were not consistent with cholera.The report says that this is in agreement with a report from the District Nursing Officer and District Environmental Officer who indicated that the patients seen had yellowish diarrhoea or muciod diarrhoea and not whitish rice water diarrhoea consistent with cholera.
The report says that the district is sending a provincial laboratory scientist and the District Environmental Health Officer for further investigation.They are expected to collect other stool samples and send them to the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory NMRL in Harare for quality control purposes.Investigations on the actual cause of the diarrhoea are ongoing.
The WHO representative says that the stock situation is good as supplies were prepositioned at Chipinge Hospital under the PUSH.There are plans to preposition more in the coming days.MDM and MSF-B also have emergency supplies for treatment of cholera.
The report says that the district is not calling this an outbreak because it has not been verified by laboratory testing.This is according to both WHO and MOHCW guidelines for management of cholera.Chipinge district plans to have meetings with its partners.

Post published in: Analysis

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