NW reports 21 new cases of diarrhoea, one of cholera

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mafikeng - The North West Health Department has confirmed that 21 new cases of diarrhoea and one of cholera have been reported at the Brits Hospital in the Madibeng Local Municipality.

Departmental spokesperson Nthabiseng Makhongoana on Tuesday told BuaNews that between 7 and 9 March, 21 patients suffering of diarrhoea were admitted to the hospital, adding that one new case of cholera was reported on 1 March.

A total of 14 cases of cholera, including the latest case, have been reported in the province since the outbreak late last year. However, the department has confirmed that no cholera related death has been reported in the province.

The department indicated that out of the 21 reported cases of diarrhoea, two of the patients died from hypovolaemic shock and renal failure.

"However, cholera has not yet been confirmed in these cases, the hospital is still awaiting results," Ms Makhongoana said.

The 21 patients that are suffering from diarrhoea reside in informal settlements in farms about 30km from Brits. The department has dispatched an Outbreak Response Team to assess conditions and initiate remedial action.

Ms Makgongoana highlighted that health institutions were ready in the province to treat anyone who may have contacted cholera or diarrhoea to avoid death related to these diseases.

She urged communities to wash theirhands with soap and water every time they used the toilet, after changing babies' nappies and when preparing food.

During her State of the Province Address last week, North West Premier, Edna Molewa said she was satisfied with the efforts taken by the province to avoid cholera related deaths.

"We have used indoor residual sprays to prevent malaria where necessary and have tested water sources and supplies from urban and rural areas to monitor the possible incidence of cholera.

"We are pleased to report no case at all and that our vision of a healthy nation lives on," Ms Molewa said at the time.