Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shocking truth of SA’s hidden cholera epidemic

Today The Times publishes shocking details of South Africa’s hidden cholera epidemic.

Our reporting team visited rural Mpumalanga where they found four villages entirely dependent on water from a cholera infested river.

Chillingly, they heard how the people had “no choice” but to draw water from the river.

At the local hospital, so many have been admitted for the disease that tents have been set up in the parking lot to deal with those who can’t fit in the hospital.

The team saw a cholera-infected man being rushed to hospital in a wheelbarrow because of the parlous state of emergency services. (Read carefully: this is a man being wheel-barrowed to hospital IN SA!)

There are now over 3 000 South Africans infected and 33 have died within this country’s borders — at least 19 of them in Mpumalanga.

Yet government appears to be without an emergency plan and its spokesmen refuse to talk about how many are affected.
This denialism, which resembles government’s initial denials over the extent of the xenophobia crisis, is worrying.

South Africa’s health resources need to be used to their fullest to deal with those infected.
Emergency measures must be taken to ensure a supply of clean water to people living in these areas with immediate effect.

It is outrageous that a country with the relative infrastructure advantages of South Africa should play host to this disease which can be prevented and treated with very simple medicines and technology.

President Kgalema Motlanthe would do well to wake up his slumbering health department and take action to stop this crisis from expanding further.

For the moment it seems that the poorest South Africans remain off the government’s radar screen. These people should have access to clean running water and proper medicines some fifteen years into our democracy.

The cholera crisis is a national disgrace.

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

The cholera crisis is not a national disgrace. The bloody ANC is!


Stop bothering us with trivia such as cholera and crime ! We have an election to fight and also have to keep or president out of jail!

Your in eternal stuggle for self enrichment - ANC