KZN opposition question state of readiness for cholera outbreak

Opposition parties in KwaZulu-Natal have joined the cholera debate demanding answers from the provincial health department whether it is combat ready to tackle the water-borne disease should it be detected in the province.

At Thursday’s legislature sitting in Pietermaritzburg, the IFP, which is the main opposition party, raised an urgent motion calling for health MEC Nomagugu Simelane to reveal her department’s strategy should the deadly disease sweep through the province.

“Although there are no cases of cholera in KwaZulu-Natal currently, the question remains: is KZN ready should a cholera outbreak strike? And what plans are in place to detect and respond to such a possible outbreak?” asked IFP MPL and party spokesperson on health Ncamisile Nkwanyana.

The province previously recorded a catastrophe leading to a high number of deaths due to a cholera outbreak which struck between 2000 and 2001.

“The IFP believes that to ensure that a cholera outbreak doesn’t occur in KZN, both short-term and long-term solutions are needed.

“We need a multi-sectoral cholera elimination plan which encompasses different stakeholders such as those responsible for the provision of clean water, sanitation and health education.

“Many people in KwaZulu-Natal only have the right to safe water and sanitation on paper.”

According to the national Health Department, Hammanskraal remains the epicenter of the cholera outbreak.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Wednesday: “The key message is that at this stage the outbreak of cholera is limited to a small area in Free State, Ngwathe municipality with no reported new cases since 23 May 2023.

“In the case of Tshwane, we have a total of 99 confirmed cases, seven in the last 24 hours distributed as: three Jubilee Hospital, one Military Hospital, one Eugene Marais Life Hospital, one Netcare Montana, and one Odi Hospital.

“Again, there is a significant downward trend and the outbreak remains in Tshwane. We are confident that it will be contained.”


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