Human rights doctors on the spread of typhoid in Harare

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) continues to be worried and appalled by the failure by the City of Harare and the Government of Zimbabwe to stem the continued spread of typhoid and failure to prioritize safe, clean water and environment as key tenets of a strong primary healthcare system.

TyphoidWhile acknowledging the efforts by the authorities to date in responding to the outbreak we remain unsatisfied with level of intervention which, though important at curative stage fail to acknowledge and introspect into the actual causes of the outbreak.

Harare continues to reel under conditions suitable for the growth and spread of waterborne diseases such as typhoid. With 2 deaths and 132 cases reported to date the situation remains dire and in need of a responsive coordinated multi-sectoral approach to attend to both the current and long terms demands of the situation.

We note that while emergency interventions are ongoing the City of Harare and the government should come up with sustainable solutions related to the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene in the city. Burst sewerages, unsafe water and poor sanitation are an affront to the enjoyment of the right to health by residents. ZADHR further contends that the typhoid outbreak must allow residents to take stock of their local authorities and also the negligence of supervision by central government. In so doing, call upon the residents and rate payers to continue being engaged and demand responsiveness, transparency and accountability from the council. This action must include but not limited to class actions.

In the interest of good community and personal health ZADHR encourages residents to exercise good personal hygiene through hand washing and avoid open air and unsanctioned food outlets.

By and large we call upon members of the medical profession to get engaged and assist both in the response to the outbreak and in the consummation of sustainable solutions to the dire public health situation in the city.

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