The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, has noted with concern the outbreak of cholera in Tshwane, which has thus far claimed the lives of 15 people. Dr Jacobs sends his condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones.

In responding to the cholera outbreak, Dr Jacobs urges the government to make an urgent, timely and well-coordinated response to quickly control the outbreak and curb any the further spread of cases and deaths. “It is important that government and the affected departments ensure their responses focus on improving access to clean water and appropriate sanitation and hygiene, strengthening its investigations and observations to detect cases quickly, and respond effectively in order to save lives,” said Dr Jacobs.

Good quality clinical management of patients is essential to minimise mortality. Cholera is both a highly preventable and treatable disease, he added.

According to the World Health Organisation, cholera is a diarrheal infection that occurs when an individual consumes food contaminated with Vibrio cholera. Although some people show mild, moderate or no symptoms at all, it can be serious in some patients, who may experience severe dehydration. This can lead to death within hours if left untreated, said Dr Jacobs.

Source: Parliament of South Africa

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