WITH the ongoing water shortage in Gizo in the aftermath of the dry season, Waterborne diseases (WBDs), especially diarrhea, have struck Gizo communities recently.
Since the past few weeks ago, Gizo Hospital Outpatient Department continued to receive an increasing number of diarrhea cases from Gizo communities.
Those affected are from all age groups, including children.
Speaking to Solomon Star Gizo, Western Provincial Health Inspector, Marylyn Vana said a recent investigation by the Health Division last week found that the outbreak of diarrhea was caused by water.
Ms Vana recalled that during a past dry season, an outbreak of diarrhea also emerged as people were looking for water everywhere.
She said people often resort to nearby streams and water bore holes for washing, bathing and cooking during long dry spells.
“Water is scarce in Gizo and people in Gizo will know. People normally depend on water tanks or locally made boreholes.
“During long dry spells, people will do everything from washing to bathing using the boreholes and streams,” Ms Vana said.
She added at the diarrhea outbreak continues.
“This means that if one or two in a single household eat fish, it’s possible that everyone will get diarrhea as well.
“During this period, it is best to prepare your own food in your home rather than buying cooked food from the market which is not always safe during dry seasons due to the water problem in Gizo.
“When people or market vendors prioritise money, they will not be worried about how they will prepare food for the customers.
“One of the things that we trained all food vendors about is that when they prepare food, they only have two hours to sell them.
“If it is more than two hours, their food will be disallowed for sale because they are no longer safe for consumption,” Ms Vana said.
She said sea shells and cooked food are not safe for sale during any viral disease outbreak.
In June 2021, 6 children in Gizo died at the Gizo hospital due to diarrhea which was believed to have been caused by the rotavirus.
Meanwhile, the Gizo Health Division will be carrying out public awareness anytime this month or the coming months.
By ULUTAH GINA
Solomon Star, Gizo