GWERU – Health authorities in Midlands have ordered the immediate shut down of Mkoba Teachers College for a 14-day period after 508 cumulative cases of diarrhoea have been recorded at the tertiary school in a single month.
In correspondence to the provincial secretary for devolution dated November 13, Midlands provincial medical director Dr Mary Muchekeza said the break was to allow recommended corrective measures to be effected before the school could reopen.
“Reference is hereby made to the ongoing diarrhoea outbreak at Mkoba Teachers College,” Muchekeza wrote.
“As at November 13 at 6pm the college had reported a total of 508 diarrhoeal cases cumulatively since the onset of the outbreak on the 3rd of the same month.”
Muchekeza said eight water samples were collected for microbiological analysis, and three were found to be unfit for human consumption.
She said preliminary findings showed that kitchen hygiene levels at the college were poor, resulting in cross-contamination of food items due to poor storage techniques, fly infestation, adding that non-medically examined food handlers were worsening the situation.
“We recommend temporary closure of the institution and postponement of all scheduled events for 14 days until all recommendations made to the institution have been thoroughly met,” she said.
The closure of the college is expected to disrupt the writing of examinations.
The outbreak comes as the country battles a cholera outbreak that has been recorded in 46 of the country’s districts so far.