By Chali Mulenga-Chicken pox has broken out in Libuyu Township in Livingstone and health authorities are tight lipped on the matter.
Highly placed sources at the township’s clinic revealed that the health facility had recorded an increase in the number of patients being treated for chicken pox adding that an average of about 5 people are treated per day.
A woman of 6 grand children, Ruth Miyanda who is nursing her 6 grand children with suspected chicken pox said that the situation was worrying as she did not know what to do although she had taken her children to the clinic.
She said all her grand children were infected with the disease and that the problem was coupled with the lack of water that had hit the township.
And a drug store owner, Gift Phiri said the out break was quite serious and that there was no enough sensitization to the people in the township.
He said the government was not doing enough to ensure that the out break was addressed and given the attention it deserved.
Phiri accused relevant government authorities of underplaying the out break which he sad was evident in among children in the community.
“The health authorities do not take people in this township seriously so it’s like the people, who have been denied access to clean and safe water, do not matter,” he said.
Investigations carried out by the watchdog revealed that most households with children were mostly affected and the Watchdog further observed that people are using untreated water from Maramba and Nansanzu streams.
When contacted for a comment, District Medical Officer, Doctor Jelita Chinyonga said that she was awaiting more information from the clinic in question. Dr. Chinyonga said her office depends on weekly reports from the clinics for updates for her office to take any intervention and referred all queries to the provincial Medical Officer Doctor Lutangu Alisheke.
And in an interview with the Watchdog, Dr. Alisheke said that he had not yet received a report and also referred all querries to the Ministry of Health spokesperson.
Chicken pox also known as varicella, is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV), spreading easily through coughs or sneezes of ill individuals, or through direct contact with secretions from the rash; is rarely fatal, although generally more severe in adult males than in adult females or children; with pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system being at highest risk of serious complications.