Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe Midlands Chapter is intensifying Typhoid awareness as Council and Government are still struggling to contain the bacterial disease in Gweru.
The organisation recently held a meeting with health team from the Government Health Promotion Team and German None-Governmental Organisation Helthungerhilfe, deployed by Gweru City Council Health Department to educate its membership from three districts in the Province.
Districts represented included Gweru, Shurugwi and Zvishavane and members were urged to relay Typhoid awareness information in their respective areas.
Speaking after the meeting, WCoZ Midlands Chapter Chairperson Allice Maqata said women are the health custodians in the home as they are responsible for cooking, taking care of children and so on.
“She said the person responsible for hygiene in the house is the woman and if one educates the woman, they have educated the whole household hence targeting women.
She said women were enlightened on how to be hygienic and prevent contracting and the spread of the deadly disease.
“Today’s meeting was a follow up after the Typhoid outbreak and we said we cannot continue the blame game whilst people are dying.
“So we decided that while council is doing its investigations we as women teach each other how best we can prevent infection and for those who have contracted the disease or suspect they have been infected can quickly go an seek medical attention.
She said hygiene and sanitation was a quo part of the meeting as the health professionals who addressed the meeting described and explained ho typhoid is contracted, spread and can be prevented.
“The reason why we have called them is for them to come and teach us and discuss how best we can manage things like refuse, making our drinking water safe and finally make the best way forward.
“We resolved that all the members in attendance go back and practice what we have learnt, disseminate information educating those around us so that the disease does not spread and in the future we don’t get such cases as the outbreak.
One the three Health Professionals who were addressing the meeting Mrs Odrie Ziro from Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action) Water and Sanitation Department said the aim of the meeting was to help the women on the practical things they are supposed to do about typhoid.
She said the women showed interest on the information and came up with action plans which will partly target
“We were called by WCoZ to explain to them what exactly Typhoid is so that they have a better understanding of the disease.
“So we came with members from the Health Promotions from the Ministry of Health as well as the Environmental Health teaching them of the practical things to do when confronted with the diseases as well as symptoms to look out for,” said Mrs Ziro.
She said the response and interaction from the attendees was impressive and made action plans to adopt.
She advised Gweru residents to ensure they stay clean and safe ensuring that all the water they use is treated or boiled and stop the blame game directed to council and be responsible at household level.
Making presentations during the meeting, Apart from Ziro, was Gweru District Environmental Health Officer from the Ministry of Health Mrs Constance Gumbo who explained on the Typhoid disease giving practical vivid examples that either left the attendees in deep thought or in stitches.
The typhoid outbreak was declared early last month with approximately 10 known deaths from the disease, others admitted and thousands being treated for suspected symptoms.
The Government and Council set up Task force to fight the disease but are still to determine the causes of the outbreak and its spread in the three main affected areas of Mkoba 15, 18 and 20.
Non-Governmental Organisation, business community and other stakeholders have chipped in to assist in the fight of the disease.