Residents in Bulawayo’s Luveve suburb who were affected by the recent outbreak of diarrhoea have started receiving free treatment at the local clinic.
The diarrhoea allegedly emanated from ‘contaminated water’ that residents consumed in the area.
So far, five children and one adult have died in the past week.
When CITE visited Luveve clinic Monday, scores of residents were present seeking medical attention.
In an interview, Member of Parliament for Luveve Constituency, Stella Ndlovu, confirmed arrangements have been made with the local authority to provide free medical assistance to the affected residents.
Ndlovu noted with concern that the diarrhoea had to be treated with seriousness, as it proved to be more deadly than the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 claimed four lives nationwide since the first case was recorded in March but this diarrhoea has already claimed six lives in less than two weeks. This issue really needs to be treated with a sense of urgency and even be declared a national disaster so that the affected people can receive the assistance they deserve,” she said.
“In the meantime we have made arrangements that all residents showing symptoms must come and receive treatment free of charge. Most residents have been saying they can’t afford to pay so due to the seriousness of the situation this arrangement was made.”
Ndlovu said there are more residents who were unable to go to the clinic because they are in a more critical condition.
“Ambulances at the moment can only ferry one person at a time and some residents shy away from calling them because they fear huge bills. Transport logistics are underway to make sure that every affected person goes to the clinic for treatment,” she said.
“The clinic staff has also raised concerns that they are now overwhelmed with work so we will talk to the city council to make sure there is reinforcement of staff.”