Health minister visits typhoid town

Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Buyelwa Sonjica visited Delmas on Monday to assess the needs arising from a typhoid outbreak.

They would also visit nearby clinics and social-service offices, as well as Botleng township’s main source of water.

Her department said she would ascertain whether there was a need for the deployment of extra resources, such as the South African Military Health Service, to help contain the outbreak.

Health spokesperson Mpho Gabashiyane said no new cases were reported at the weekend and that the figures were still the same—210 cases of typhoid and 1 200 of diarrhoea.

“We have not reached a situation where we have to deploy more resources to deal with the outbreak. So far, our clinics have been able to deal with the situation,” Gabashiyane said.

The department has advised people suffering from severe headaches, stomach and muscle pains and a high fever to visit their nearest hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, residents of Botleng are demanding answers about what they said was the second typhoid outbreak in 12 years.

In the township on Monday, people were queueing to get water from green water tanks erected at street corners.

“This is the second time that this is happening. In 1993, just before the elections, we also had people dying from this disease,” said Vusi Mnguni, a 22-year-old resident from Botleng.
“We want to know why this is happening again.”

Sanyana Mahlangu (41) said: “Why don’t we hear of this happening in town? Unless people there receive water from a different source than us.”—Sapa