Free State records first Cholera-related death

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, says the current death toll from the cholera outbreak currently sits at 24, with the Free State recording its first casualty.

According to minister Phaahla, the outbreak of cholera is limited to a small area in Free State, Ngwathe Municipality, with no reported new cases since May 23.

He said Tshwane remains the epicentre of the cholera outbreak since the first case was detected in Hammanskraal in a 56-year-old male originally from Giyani, Limpopo, who resides in Musina.

The patient, who is a police officer, was enrolled for a three-week course at the South African Police Service College in Hammanskraal.

The officer arrived on 7 May and complained of diarrhoea and vomiting and was taken by ambulance to Muelmed Hospital in Pretoria on 15 May.

Meanwhile, in Tshwane, the infections are dropping, where 99 cases have been confirmed, with seven reported in the last 24 hours.

Of the new infections, three patients are being treated at Jubilee Hospital, while the rest are spread across Military, Eugene Marais Life, Netcare Montana and Odi hospitals.

More students started complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms with 33 seen at various health facilities resulting in eight admissions and all are in a stable condition.

“The patient [police officer] is still in ICU in a stable condition receiving treatment.”

In the past seven days, 163 patients presented at Jubilee Hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting giving an average of 23 patients per day.

“The number of deaths was 17 in seven days,” he said.

However, between 24 and 30 May, the number reduced to 30 patients with an average of four patients per day and two deaths.

Meanwhile, on 12 May, the Minister received a message from the MEC of Health in the Free State that eight patients had died from diarrhoea, two at home and three each at Parys and Boitumelo hospitals.

“Unfortunately, due to the fact that some of the patients presented at clinics where conditions were not adequate to take specimens for laboratory, this was not done.”

Later, the test revealed that one of the deaths was linked to cholera, while eight more people have since contracted the disease in the province. This brings the total number of infections in the province to nine.


He said interventions in health services include the creation of special cholera and gastroenteritis wards, the deployment of gastroenteritis specialists at Jubilee, the fast-tracking of laboratory results and the setting up of a field hospital clinic.

The department has also deployed additional health staff, embarked on an educational drive in the community, and reinforced messages of prevention through basic hand hygiene, and water and food safety.

“Our colleagues in the Water Department, both in the City of Tshwane and the Department of Water and Sanitation, are continuing to examine the water sources to determine any contamination.”

Stephen Seakgwe

Stephen Seakgwe is the editor of Mapepeza. He is a working journalist covering general and investigative stories for the newspaper and online platforms. Stephen is an experienced and driven Media Specialist with over eight years of experience creating compelling content across multiple media platforms for a range of brands.

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