HomeNewsHealthDiarrhoea hits Bulawayo Polytechnic

Diarrhoea hits Bulawayo Polytechnic

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HUNDREDS of Bulawayo Polytechnic College students reportedly suffered varying degrees of diarrhoea at the weekend after drinking suspected contaminated water from the tertiary institution’s taps.

NDUDUZO TSHUMA
STAFF REPORTER

The most affected, according to students, were those living on campus and a few were sent to hospital after contracting the bug.

The institution’s acting vice-principal, a Mrs Masanganise, was said to be locked in a meeting with officials from the Bulawayo City Council that had visited the college to investigate the matter.

The principal Gilbert Mabasa, who was said to be in Harare, did not pick up his mobile phone when Southern Eye called him for comment.

An official at the institution said Masanganise would not be able to talk to Southern Eye as she was in a meeting discussing the matter.

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said he had not received any report about suspected contaminated water at Bulawayo Polytechnic.

“I am in Harare at the moment and I have not received such a report,” Moyo said.

But students at the institution confirmed the outbreak.

“It is contaminated water and we understand that a pipe carrying water from Matsheumhlophe was the one with contaminated water. When students drank it, they developed diarrhoea. The worst affected were those living on campus,” a student who resides on campus said.
“We understand that some students were taken to hospital for treatment.”

An affected student complained to Southern Eye about the institution’s continued silence on the matter.

“According to the Public Health Act, it is a criminal offence to withhold any information about a disease outbreak. However, this is happening at Bulawayo Polytechnic today where the head fumed and removed all posters meant to help other students as more than 50 cases of what is believed to be rota virus, contaminated water or food,” the student said.

“Some students even used their own money to go to private hospitals after what seemed to be fruitless waiting. This is so because the school does not have any emergence preparedness plan.

“So we end up wondering what the reason was behind hiding such information. Where is the law; where is the health department? Do we have to die first for the responsible authorities to act? When will justice be justice?”

Officially opening the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in April, President Robert Mugabe said the country’s water sources had been contaminated and a Cabinet committee to investigate the matter had been set up.

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