Cholera toll keeps hospitals on alert

HELPLESS: A baby suffering from cholera in Zimbabwe, where more than 2000 victims have reportedly died from the disease. 16/01./2009. Pic. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.  © AP.
HELPLESS: A baby suffering from cholera in Zimbabwe, where more than 2000 victims have reportedly died from the disease. 16/01./2009. Pic. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi. © AP.

Four new cholera cases were reported in Mpumalanga yesterday.

Provincial health spokesman Mpho Gaboshane said there had been an influx of people admitted to the Matikwane Hospital in Bushbuckridge since Friday.

"We now have 31 confirmed cases and 350 suspected cases of cholera in the province.

"We have also moved the paediatric ward from Matikwane Hospital to Temba Hospital to create more space for cholera patients."

The Red Cross charity organisation had donated 200 cholera kits and 200 mattresses to help with the cholera epidemic in the province, Gaboshane said.

"As an added measure eight additional doctors and several nurses and paramedics have been deployed to assist," he said.

Health MEC Fish Mahlalela and Bushbuckridge mayor Milton Morema plan to visit the area on Monday.

Gaboshane warned people against using water from streams or wells. "People also need to be more hygienic and always wash their hands and food," he said.

"If people are suffering from dehydration, diarrhoea or vomiting they should go to the nearest hospital to get medically assessed immediately."

On Saturday up to 60 people were hospitalised for cholera treatment and there were 27 confirmed cases.

The province's first cholera-related death was recorded almost two weeks ago, following a local couple's visit to Zimbabwe during the festive season. - Sapa

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