Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Sports and Recreation Commission has urged sportspersons to avoid using sporting facilities that do not have running water so that cholera, that has killed at least 25 people in Harare can be contained.
Over 3 000 suspected cholera cases have been reported in Harare, while isolated cases in Masvingo, Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central, all traced back to the capital, have also been reported.
“Following the confirmed deaths of people owing to cholera we would like to advise all the sport loving people that this disease is a living reality that is in our midst. Cholera can be prevented if we practise the highest standards of hygiene,” wrote the commission in a statement.
The SRC urged the generality of Zimbabweans and the sports persons in particular to exercise extreme care and to also visit their nearest health centre for examination if they suspect any symptoms of the disease and avoid using sporting facilities that do not have running water.
“As sports persons let us ensure the following; Avoid using sporting facilities which do not have running and clean water, each time we use bathrooms, let us wash our hands with soap/detergents or ash on running water, let us ensure that the food that we eat such as fruits are thoroughly washed, if there are any symptoms of cholera let us immediately visit the local nearest health centre for examination and treatment. Let us avoid shaking hands, let’s keep all the ablution facilities spotlessly clean each time we use them and let’s avoid littering everywhere where we play sport and if we do so let’s dispose off the litter correctly,” read the statement from the Commission.
The country’s supreme sports body said the outbreak can be contained if appropriate hygienic standards are maintained at all times.
“We are not health experts, but as a concerned corporate citizen we feel that it is our duty to join hands with the rest of the government machinery and other civil organisations in combating this disease. We are convinced together we can contain this endemic disease by practising appropriate hygienic standards at all times,” read the statement.
The outbreak has resulted in the Government declaring a state of emergency and the police have also banned public gatherings in Harare as part of efforts to contain the disease. The Ministry of Health and Child Care has been disseminating messages via various media urging people to be on high alert and report any suspected cases of the disease.
“Cholera is a severe watery diarrhoeal disease with or without vomiting caused by vibrio cholera. It kills fast. Take preventive action. If you suspect cholera in your area, advise health workers at the nearest health facility immediately,” reads one of the messages sent via SMS by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.