Published Date: 2011-01-08 15:26:34
Subject: PRO/EAFR> Cholera - Tanzania 2011 (01): Dar es Salaam
Archive Number: 20110108.216933
CHOLERA - TANZANIA 2011 (01):DAR ES SALAAM
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 4 Jan 2011
Source: The Citizen [edited]
Kinondoni district authorities early last year  announced a set of new by-laws imposing heavy penalties on residents found living in dirty surroundings or allowing dirty water from toilets to stream into streets. The idea was to check a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera and dysentery.
However, some critics termed the measures as draconian. They did not see the reason for fining a city resident up to TZS 500 000 [USD 340] for laxity in keeping the environment clean. And it appears that the measures have not paid off because cholera has once again shown its ugly head in the city, less than 3 months since it last hit Dar es Salaam.
Luckily, in the latest outbreak that hit the city in December 2010, Kinondoni District appears to have been spared of the scourge. Until last week, the number of patients suffering from cholera had risen from 22 to 26, according to statistics obtained early this week [week ending 9 Jan 2011].
The Dar es Salaam City Council acting medical officer, Dr Hawa Kawawa, said Temeke District leads with 24 patients. Most of the patients originate from Mbagala area which has now become not only notorious, but the location most prone to the disease.
Why Mbagala or is it because of the city's rapid and haphazard growth that has led to the expansion of informal urban settlements? In most of these area residents live with limited basic infrastructure, without adequate water supply or sanitation facilities. These conditions, in addition to over-crowding, are nest boxes for many bacteria that cause infectious diseases.
Surprisingly, the other 2 municipalities of Ilala and Temeke have not adopted measures taken by Kinondoni, although they have similar by-laws. We think what is lacking is public education by the powers that be. This needs to be stepped up by, among other measures, relentlessly advising people to drink boiled water and eat hot food. It is time the city fathers permanently banned hawking of food and fruit juices on the streets.
[The authorities in Kinondoni district have stepped up regulation of public health standards in the district as part of the measures aimed at preventing the spread of cholera from the other districts affected by the disease in Dar-es-Salaam. This is a step in the right direction but this should become routine practice as opposed to instituting the measures when an outbreak strikes in the neighborhood.
Dar es Salaam, the 1st capital city of the United Republic of Tanzania, can be located via the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the country at
http://healthmap.org/r/0lP2. - Mod.JFW]