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

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