- About 600 cases recorded since the outbreak
- Gumare hospital admits more than 10 -15 patients daily
- Public urged to maintain high standards of hygiene
Health authorities in the Okavango sub district have revealed that 10 children have died of diarrhoea in the area while many remain hospitalized. This follows a national alert made by the health ministry last week about diarrhoeal illnesses being experienced in some parts of the country.
Okavango DHMT Coordinator, Dr Bokwena Moali has confirmed that the children who succumbed to diarrhoea had been admitted at Gumare Primary Hospital. While the rest of the country remains on alert, Moali said the district has an outbreak of diarrhoea.
She further revealed that they started recording cases of diarrhoea two weeks ago in Gumare and surrounding areas and the children mostly affected were under the age of five. She has stated that since the outbreak more than 10 -15 patients with diarrhoea are admitted in hospital on a daily basis.
She said the sub district has so far registered 599 cases of diarrhoea, with 59 of the cases showing signs of dehydration.
According to her, for the past two years they have not experienced diarrhea outbreak in the district. Dr Moali said they have recorded some few diarrhoea cases among the elderly living with other health conditions.
She explained that measures have been put in place to prevent more diarrhea cases in the district. Dr Moali has revealed that they also conduct awareness meetings with health workers and patients at Gumare hospital.
She revealed that the DMHT is working to sensitize people about the outbreak through workshops and kgotla meetings to engage with parents, teachers in schools, village leaders among them VDCs and Dikgosi.
Prevention, she said lies in members of the public practicing highest levels of hygiene and making sure the environment is kept clean.
“Parents should make sure they take care of their children in terms of what they eat and drink to avoid such incident where we lost children in such large numbers,” she noted.
The recent ministry of health national alert indicated that diarrhoeal illnesses were being experienced in Okavango, Ngami, Chobe, Tutume, and Kgatleng.
“In view of this development, the ministry has strengthened its response and surveillance measures in order to contain the spread of the disease in the country. Some additional technical and human resource support has been extended to the most affected areas. The ministry developed a response plan which is currently being unfolded,” reads the press release.
Members of the public were advised to remain calm but vigilant and to visit the nearest health facility should they or their children, experience any unusual symptoms, including the following: dehydration, vomiting, decrease in urination, dry lips, sunken eyes, fever, nausea, blood or mucus in the stool and loose bowels for more than three times a day.