Ways to dry up cholera



Published May 26, 2023


Following the recent cholera outbreak, citizens need to be cautious before quenching their thirst.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health provided tips on how to ensure citizens within the province do not get infected by cholera. This statement followed from a speech by Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu on Friday afternoon. The minister provided an update on plans to fix the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tshwane following this week’s outbreak that has claimed 20 lives.

They reported that zero cases have been recorded in KZN to date.

In their statement, the provincial department says that cholera can be prevented with the following measures:

  • Wash your hands frequently with water and soap.
  • Wash all food with clean water.
  • Do not eat raw or half-cooked meat.
  • Boil water or ensure drinking water that is treated or purified.
  • Maintain good sanitation at all times.

“They say that cholera symptoms range from mild to severe and watery diarrhoea and dehydration. The incubation period (the period from when a person ingests cholera-contaminated water/food to when they first become ill) ranges from a few hours to five days, usually two to three days. Most people infected with cholera will experience mild illness.”

The department highly recommends that people boil their water before consuming it. If boiling is not possible, then eight drops of household bleach per 25 litres of water must be applied or two drops per litre. If one experiences any diarrhoeal symptoms, please visit your nearest health facility urgently.

Along with the minister, Pretoria Mayor Cilliers Brink was present and said that they plan to find upgrades within a specific time period. “We will fix Rooiwal, clean the water, get the funding, work together and by agreeing to this, we convey to the national treasury and other potential assistants that this relationship isn’t holding back the solution.”

“It tells the public that squabbling between various government departments won’t hold us back.”

Brink says the issue won’t be solved by compliance issues, it will be solved by us taking responsibility.

He said that water from the taps was not the source of cholera. “Tshwane isn’t the only place, but it is the epicentre of the cholera outbreak. Cholera isn’t only spread by water or contaminated water. It can be spread by the handling of food, poor hand hygiene, the practice of submersion in water for baptism. We have to make sure we investigate all these possibilities,” said Brink.

The Independent on Saturday