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Diarrhea forces Mkoba Teachers to close

MARTIN MAWAYA

GWERU-The Ministry of Health and Child Care has ordered the closure of Mkoba Teachers College following 508 cases of diarrhea at the higher learning institution.

Midlands Provincial Medical Director, DR Marry Muchekeza said the higher learning institution will be closed for 14 days.

“Reference is hereby made to the ongoing diarrhea outbreak at Mkoba Teachers college. As at 13th of November, 2023 at 18 hours, the college had reported a total of 508 diarrhea cases cumulatively since the onset of the outbreak on the 3rd of this month.

“In light of the findings and challenges mentioned above, we believe it is in the interest of public health to take immediate and decisive action. We recommended temporary closure of the institution and postponement of all scheduled events for 14 days until all recommendations made to the institution have been thoroughly met,” reads the letter to the Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.

Dr Muchekeza added that the epidemiological investigations have revealed that, from the 8 water samples collected for microbiological analysis, 3 were found to be unfit for human consumption in category D, rendering it a high risk water source.

She said the health status at the kitchen were deplorable.

“Five swaps were collected from the kitchen surfaces and food handlers. Assessments of kitchen hygiene levels were unsatisfactory, e.g cross contamination of food items due to poor storage techniques fly infestation and non medically examined food handlers,” added Dr Muchekeza.

She however, pointed out that 20 stool samples collected for four cholera RDT tests were negative for cholera.

With five stools samples for Salmonella (Typhoid) and Shigella (Dysentery) were negative, while other stool samples have Microscopy, Culture and Sensitivity (MCS) results are still pending.

GWERU residents were not spared  by perennial water shortages that has hit the City of Gweru for several years as some areas gone for more than two weeks without portable tape water.

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