Home NewsGauteng News Tracing of close contacts of Benoni cholera victim underway

Tracing of close contacts of Benoni cholera victim underway

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Tracing of close contacts of Benoni cholera victim underway

The Social Protection, Community and Human Development cluster announced on Sunday that the Gauteng Health Department is monitoring immediate contacts, including the workplace of a 24-year-old from Wattville, Benoni, who succumbed to the cholera.

“At this stage, there is no indication of contamination of public water resources with the [cholera] bacteria,” said Minister Angie Motshekga on Sunday at a briefing in Pretoria.

She was speaking on behalf of Ministers in the cluster.

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced on Thursday the first death linked to the recent cases of cholera detected in South Africa, as the number of laboratory-confirmed cases now stands at five.

According to the Gauteng Department of Health, it has also traced 12 close contacts of the deceased, while two have already been referred to Tambo Memorial Hospital.

Motshekga said it is important for the environmental health officers and health promotion teams to monitor close contacts and keep them on high alert.

She also stressed the importance of health hygiene education, especially when handling drinking water and food.

Early this month, Phaahla announced the first two laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera imported from Malawi.

According to the Department of Health, the cases were confirmed in two sisters, who had travelled together by bus from Johannesburg to Malawi to attend a funeral.

Subsequently, the husband of one of the women was also confirmed to have cholera by laboratory tests. However, all three residents of Diepsloot have since recovered.

Measles

Meanwhile, the cluster stated that it has administered 4 742 545 measles doses since the outbreak.

The latest statistics reveal that 278 127 doses were given to children between six and 11 months, while 1 743 654 jabs were administered to those between 12 and 59 months, and 2 720 673 were given to those who are between five and 15 years old.

“The protection of children against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is the collective responsibility of parents, guardians and healthcare providers.

“We are grateful to the contribution of the Basic Education sector. That contribution can only be effective if parents and guardians can sign the consent forms so that their children can be immunised at school,” Motshekga said.

The measles outbreak was reported in six of the nine provinces – Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State, North West and recently the Western Cape, which recorded four laboratory-confirmed cases in the City of Cape Town.

This brings the number of cases from 506 to 510 since the first outbreak in 2022.

The Department of Health, working together with sister departments and other stakeholders, has embarked on a nationwide child immunisation campaign against measles, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

TB

In addition, the cluster is calling on every sector of society, including through Parliament’s Tuberculosis (TB) Caucus, to join hands in the fight against TB.

“TB containment suffered the same fate for reduced testing, diagnosis, treatment and especially completion of treatment,” Motshekga said, adding that South Africa is one of the 30 high TB burden countries.

In March 2023, government, together with other partners in the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will lead an annual World TB Commemorative event in Rustenburg, North West, as part of continued efforts to raise awareness about the epidemic and its burden on the healthcare system.

Infrastructure

The cluster also announced that it aims to improve the health delivery platforms, with some infrastructure projects being implemented this year.

High amongst the projects, according to Motshekga, is the construction of the new Limpopo Academic Hospital in Polokwane.

The 488-bed tertiary services and teaching hospital will provide specialist services, which will almost eliminate the need to transfer patients to Gauteng for various specialist treatments, including advanced surgery and intensive care unit (ICU) services.

The cluster also made pronouncements on other major infrastructure projects in the pipeline to replace old hospitals, which have already commenced in Eastern Cape, including the Zithulele District and Bambisana District Hospitals.

“Again, in Limpopo, the replacement of Siloam Hospital has already started,”  Motshekga said. – SAnews

Two cholera cases confirmed in South Africa

Two cholera cases confirmed in South Africa

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