The National Department of Health Deputy Minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Water and Sanitation’s Deputy Minister David Mahlobo visited Jubilee District Hospital following the outbreak of cholera in Hammanskraal which has already claimed life of 15 people.
As part of the visit, Ministers were accompanied by Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko to assess the situation and locate the causes.
Officials visited patients and interacted with community stakeholders on short-term methods to prevent the disease, while the government stressed the importance of supplying Hammanskraal with clean water.
The outbreak of cases poses a high risk to community members, so emergency measures are a high priority, according to Mahlobo.
“Various health measures, including scanning, will be taken to keep the disease contained and from spreading to other areas in Hammanskraal,” said Mahlobo.
An investigation team has been assembled to work with the national and provincial health departments, as well as the City of Tshwane. This is as investigations continue into the outbreak source, added Mahlobo.
According to the department, the city has been instructed to stop supplying water from the Temba plant to Hammanskraal residents for human consumption.
The MEC Nomantu Nkomo – Ralehoko has expressed concern about the number of people presenting with diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. This unfortunately led to seven deaths.
MEC says that the Department remains on high alert with advocacy and education work continuing especially targeting the immediately affected areas.
The MEC did a walkabout at Jubilee District Hospital to ensure that patients at the hospital who have been affected by diarrhoeal disease receive adequate medical attention
“The City of Tshwane has urged Hammanskraal communities not to drink tap water. Practice hand hygiene and only use safe disinfected water for food preparation”.
Rand Water and Magalies confirmed that their water was free of Cholera and remains compliant and safe for human consumption.
Despite this, residents are not confident in their supply because the same dams that supply water to Hammanskraal taps continue to provide them with water.
“To protect ourselves, we buy bottled water from shops since we aren’t sure if the water is purified. The only way to remain safe is to do this,” said Victor Maputle, a resident of Hammanskraal.
Phineas Leapheka SANCO Chairperson in Ward 75 said that two people were reported dead in the same house among the reported 15 victims.
Those who died of cholera were family members and some were breadwinners, said SANCO Chairperson.
As a result, he said, fixing Rooiwal Dam is the only way to ensure Hammanskraal receives clean water, as the situation will remain the same and death tolls will continue to rise. Added SANCO Chairperson.
To date, 29 cases of Cholera have been confirmed in Hammanskraal and over 100 people have been seen at the Jubilee District Hospital. 46 people have been admitted & 18 of them were transferred to Dr George Mukhari Academic & Steve Biko Academic Hospitals. 15 people have passed on.