The cholera death toll has reached 31, as announced by the National Department of Health on Thursday, marking the impact of the outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
According to SAnews, Gauteng has reported the highest number of deaths, with 29, while Free State and Mpumalanga recorded one fatality.
From 1 February to 6 June 2023, the country witnessed 166 laboratory-confirmed cases and 202 suspected cholera infections across five provinces.
Most cases, approximately 92% or 152, have been documented in Gauteng, followed by Free State with 5% (nine infections). The disease has also spread to other provinces, including North West with three infections, and Limpopo and Mpumalanga with one each.
Age ranges vary among patients, with cases in Gauteng spanning from one to 91 years and in the Free State ranging from 10 to 50 years.
Gauteng and Free State hospitals have attended to over 600 individuals with suspected cholera symptoms. To alleviate the strain on Jubilee Hospital, a well-equipped temporary field health facility called the Kanana Cholera Treatment Centre was established in Hammanskraal, contributing to improved health-seeking behaviour in the affected community.
Over 200 people have already received medical attention at the makeshift hospital. It has been operating non-stop since 26 May.
The Department of Health and various stakeholders have made significant progress in response to the cholera outbreak to contain its spread.
National, Provincial, and District Outbreak Response Teams are conducting case-finding and contact-tracing activities, reaching over 300 contacts. These efforts include health promotion, distribution of hygiene packs to households and local schools (donated by the United Nations Children’s Fund and Doctors Without Borders), and psychosocial support and social relief packages to the families of the deceased provided by the Department of Social Development.
Citizens must remain vigilant, avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water, and surfaces, and practice thorough handwashing with soap. The department emphasises the importance of not consuming water from unsafe sources unless one has boiled or disinfected it to minimise the risk of infection.
Follow us on Google News.