Cholera death toll soars to 17 in alarming outbreak
On Wednesday, the cholera death toll reached 17 in Hammanskraal.
According to the Gauteng Health Department, there have been 29 laboratory-confirmed cholera cases so far. As per SABC News, Hammanskraal’s Jubilee District medical facilities have attended 165 patients, including 18 individuals transferred to nearby healthcare centres for specialised treatment.
Motalatale Modiba, the department’s spokesperson, has urged members of the public who experience symptoms of cholera to seek assistance at their nearest health facilities immediately.
“We strongly advise individuals to report to their nearest health facilities if they present symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and dehydration. Timely medical treatment is crucial. Furthermore, we reiterate our call for the public to refrain from consuming known or suspected contaminated food and water,” stated Modiba.
The Tshwane Executive Mayor, Cilliers Brink, announced that additional tests would take place on Wednesday to aid in identifying the source of the cholera outbreak.
Also read: Gift of the Givers delivers thousands of litres of drinking water to cholera-stricken Hammanskraal
Brink clarified that recent tests conducted on the water supply from taps showed no evidence of cholera contamination.
“Upon discovering the outbreak and confirming it as cholera, we immediately reviewed the records and demanded accountability from officials. None of the routine samples indicated any presence of cholera in the water supply. However, this does not negate the existence of cholera. There is undoubtedly a cholera outbreak, but our initial findings suggest that the tap water is not contaminated with cholera. Nevertheless, we will continue with comprehensive sampling. Later today, we should have further tests and confirmation regarding the source of the outbreak,” explained Brink.
Amnesty International South Africa has called on the government to act to prevent more cholera-related deaths quickly.
Mienke Steytler, the spokesperson for Amnesty International SA, highlights that the constitutional right to clean and safe water is under threat unless the government ensures the protection of this critical resource.
“People are losing their lives due to a preventable and easily treatable disease. This is deeply troubling and unacceptable. Cholera is caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. Food and water should be safe for consumption, free from potentially deadly bacteria. The provision of safe water and sanitation is pivotal in preventing and controlling the transmission of cholera,” stressed Steytler.
The effort to stop the cholera death toll continues as the Gauteng Health Department, local authorities, and relevant organisations work together to prevent the disease.
Zero cholera detected in piped city water supply amid Hammanskraal cholera outbreak
Picture: Unsplash / Louis Reed