MANZINI – The government of SWAZILAND has warned members of the public to take care when handling food and drinking water following a recent diarrhoea outbreak.

Hlangano Health Centre at work (Pic. Agencies)

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the alert comes when the Kingdom, now re-named ESWATINI, is reeling under serious economic difficulties, which have led to a health crisis.

It says the disease is currently affecting children below the age of FIVE and the outbreak has been detected mainly in the SHISELWENI and HHOHHO Regions.

The publication quotes what it refers to as sources within the health sector as saying medical workers started recording cases of diarrhoea in the SHISELWENI Region early last week.

However, the most affected area so far is said to be NHLANGANO, where the disease has killed SIX children under the age of FIVE since last WEDNESDAY.

The deaths occurred at the NHLANGANO Health Centre, which is admitting another 13 patients: while a number of other kids of the same age group have had to be treated and discharged due to a shortage of wards.

According to the same sources, medical experts at the MBABANE Government Hospital in the capital have recorded an increased number of children with diarrhoea – although they have released no figures.

Health Ministry Principal Secretary DR SIMON ZWANE has confirmed the outbreak of the deadly, yet preventable, disease: but says such an epidemic is common during this time of the year.

He says the Kingdom starts to receive flood rains around these months, as it happened last week, and it is when chances of the outbreak of such diseases become high.

However, Principal Secretary ZWANE says the current epidemic is coming when the country has been on high alert – given the reports of cholera in some countries in the SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY Region.

The TIMES quotes him as saying the diarrhoea affecting his country is unrelated to cholera, and people can prevent it by washing hands with clean water and soap before touching food and after visiting the toilet.

The situation in SWAZILAND comes as countries like ZIMBABWE have issued state of emergency declarations following serious outbreaks of cholera, which authorities fear may spread throughout the SADC Region through cross-border activities.

In a separate incident, a number of unknown assailants have this past TUESDAY tried to kill the whole family of a Chiefdom Councillor, Bucopho MDUDUZI MNDZEBELE.

The local politician, who won as a Bucopho under the MAFUTSENI Constituency in Primary Elections more than TWO weeks ago, had to be rushed to MKHIWA Clinic after collapsing in MANZINI City.

Bucopho MNDZEBELE, who says he does not have a suspect in mind yet, explains how he had left home on the same morning going to drop off some documents at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in the commercial capital.

He says he only drank some water from an outside tank used by the whole family before leaving, but he started shivering, vomiting, and collapsed after seeking medication when he had felt weak in the body.

The SWAZI local politician says the suspects had poisoned the water tank at night, because he woke up to find himself admitted together with the whole family including wife, brother, grandmother and a THREE-year-old child./Sabanews/cam



VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Ministry of Health is localising eye surgery services in partnership with the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION of SWITZERLAND.

Seychelles opens first surgical service on the island nation (Pic. SNA)

The INDIAN Ocean island country has a five-year plan aimed to stop external attention for different ailments of the eye, and the State has managed to open its FIRST domestic surgical facility.

SEYCHELLES says ONE of the services now available is vitreoretinal surgery, which involves surgical procedures on the retina at the back of the eye.

It says Health Minister JEAN-PAUL ADAM has addressed the media this week, saying with this latest development, the country is on track with its vision to domesticate all eye surgeries within FIVE years.

He says the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION is not only helping with a donation of medical equipment, but also with training to build the capacity of staff at the new unit.

Minister ADAM says they have a long-term partnership with the SWISS-based Foundation, which has made it possible for the Ministry to carry out the vitreoretinal surgery locally.

He has also commended the dedication and work of Professor CYRUS TABATABAY, Founder and President of TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION.

The veteran surgeon this month undertook his THIRD consultative trip to the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital; TWO years after the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in 2016.

SNA says the Professor normally makes TWO visits per year to SEYCHELLES, and during the latest leg, he helped to set up the service as well as with the FIRST FOUR procedures.

The Consultant in Charge of the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital, ROLAND BARBE, has explained some of the immediate benefits of the vitreoretinal operations.

He says the service will help address the large number of diabetic patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who need such attention, unlike the present situation where they have to go to INDIA or SRI LANKA.

The SEYCHELLES Health Minister says the process is lengthy and dedicated, but the State has long term plans to do most vitreoretinal surgical cases locally; with only the most complex cases referred for overseas treatment./Sabanews/cam