Boil your water – 2 people already died of diarrhoea in our area

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For illustration purposes only

Infections are spreading.

Tumelo Waga Dibakwane

IN the latest NewsHorn, 31 July (out on streets today – Wednesday), it was reported that the Water Commission said that south Africans are contaminating their own water by defecating in it. The warnings have now come to haunt Mpumalanga.

Two people have already died to severe diarrhoea in areas outside Mbombela, the result of severely contaminated water. Earlier this month, we also uploaded a story on the water in certain parts of the province being so riddled with e.coli that it was life threatening (www.newshorn.co.za) The two victims died at Tekwane South and Kanyamazane’s clinics last weekend.

The provincial Department of Health has, in a statement, said it is investigating the deaths and have warned people to boil their water before drinking it.

According to the spokesperson of the Department of Health, Dumisane Malamule, an increase in diarrhoea cases have been noted since 20 July. Initially the affected areas were Tekwane South and Entokozweni near Kanyamazane.  On the particular day, the local clinic of Tekwane South saw an increase of diarrhoea cases which prompted the Department to investigate the cause of the increase. On 27 July, more cases were  reported at Kanyamazane clinic. Clinical and water samples were taken and forwarded to the laboratory to check the cause of the diarrhoea.

Preliminary results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) indicate that there was a presence of Shigela species (faecal matter), severe water contamination which can be deadly.

The infections have since spread to other areas of the City of Mbombela – Ka Magugu and Pienaar. From 30 July 307 Cases have been reported in Tekwane South Kanyamazane. Ten people have so far been admitted at Rob Ferreira hospital.  Health promotion practitioners within the Department are in the field conducting health education on safe water purification, oral re-hydration and personal hygiene.

The public is advised to boil drinking water before use. Purify water by putting half a tea spoon of bleach in a 25 litre of water container. To prevent dehydration, eight (8) spoons of sugar in a one litre bottle and half a tea spoon of salt. The Department is requesting communities with diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting to immediately report to the local clinic for prompt treatment.