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Death toll rises to 32 as Free State records second cholera fatality


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Death toll rises to 32 as Free State records second cholera fatality

9th June 2023

By: News24Wire


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The number of people who have died as a result of cholera-related illnesses in South Africa has risen to 32 after the Free State recorded its second fatality - that of a 42-year-old woman.

The woman was a patient at Boitumelo Regional Hospital in Kroonstad.


Free State Department of Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said laboratory results confirmed the woman's death was cholera-related.

"The patient is confirmed to have died, and thereafter laboratory tests confirmed that the death is attributable to cholera," Mvambi said.


He said the province's two cholera-related fatalities occurred in the same area.

Free State MEC for Health Mathabo Leeto conveyed her condolences to the deceased's family when department officials visited the family.

"The department would like to take this opportunity to urge the public to believe information about causes of death that are confirmed by laboratory tests and not opinions that are not scientifically supported by facts.

"The department continues to make a clarion call for all people to continue washing their hands and boiling water before they can consume it. If anyone experiences any slight symptoms of diarrhoea, they must please go to our health facilities to get help as a matter of urgency," Leeto said.

On Thursday, Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale said the country had recorded 166 laboratory-confirmed and 202 suspected cases of cholera in five provinces between 1 February and 6 June.

He added: "The majority of cases were recorded in Gauteng, which accounts for 152 cases, while Free State province accounts [for] nine cases. Other provinces which recorded positive cases include Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West."

"So far, more than 600 people with suspected cholera symptoms have been seen in Gauteng and Free State hospitals."

Mohale said a well-equipped temporary field health facility, the Kanana Cholera Treatment Centre in Hammanskraal, relieved pressure at Jubilee District Hospital and contributed to improved health-seeking behaviour among people who have cholera symptoms.

"Over 200 people have been seen at this makeshift hospital. The facility has been operating 24/7 since 26 May."

He added that national, provincial and district outbreak response teams had been activated and managed to reach more than 300 contacts as part of case-finding and contact-tracing activities.

"The Department of Social Development continues with psychosocial support and social relief packages to the families of the deceased," Mohale said.


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