(2009), "Botswana - Botswana: Francistown in cholera alert", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 22 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2009.06222cab.012Download as .RIS
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Botswana - Botswana: Francistown in cholera alert
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 22, Issue 3
Keywords: Public healthcare information, Infectious disease management, Patient information
The City of Francistown is on high alert following the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe.
The city’s Environmental Division recently wrote to all food outlets in the city advising them of precautionary measures they need to prevent the diseases from spreading. Food handling has been cited as one of the ways that can easily spread the deadly disease. Recently two cases of cholera were reported in Francistown. The acting Principal Environmental Officer, Mr Letso Leselamose, said in an interview that due to the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe they have found it fit to advise food outlets to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption and to stop the sale of salads. He said food outlets must also pre-pack foods that are supposed to be pre-packed to prevent cross contamination from customers as well as enforcing safe handling practices at all times.
Mr Leselamose said they have started house-to-house campaigns to sensitive people about cholera, as well as taking water samples from households and public standpipes for analysis. He said that they will make regular follow ups to ensure that precautionary measures are put in place. Most of the food outlets in Francistown say they are already taking necessary steps to reduce cross contamination.
Galo Pick’n’Pay Assistant Manager Mr Kesekilenyana Phagane says they have started packing loose vegetables and fruits as well as serving customers bread instead of having each customer grabbing a loaf for themselves.
Mr Phagane said they have also stopped selling salads as suggested by the FCC’s environmental health division. For his part, the manager of Nandos in Francistown said their franchise has been taking precautionary measures to avoid any kind of disease even before the cholera outbreak.
Mr. Dominique Lecordier said in an interview that Nandos employees use sanitizers to clean their hands, adding that they also sanitize their tables regularly while an auditor visits them every two months to check if they still maintain a high level of hygiene. Most of the vendors interviewed said they have little knowledge about cholera. One of them, Sarah Jane, said she only washes her tomatoes when they show signs of rotting.
Some of them however said they wash their vegetables every morning before they head to the streets, adding that they do not allow their customers to touch their products wily-nilly.
Cholera is one of the few diseases that can literally kill a healthy person in 24 hours.
Some of its symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea which then literally dehydrates a person to death.
Zimbabwe declared the cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 563 lives and the malfunctioning of central hospitals national emergencies, and called for assistance from the international community.
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