Today, during the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Sitting, the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature raised a motion, calling upon the KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane to tell the public what plans are in place to prevent a cholera outbreak in the province.
Although there are no cases of cholera in KZN currently, the question remains: is KZN ready should a cholera outbreak strike? And what plans are in place to detect and respond to such a possible outbreak?
KwaZulu-Natal previously recorded a high number of deaths due to a cholera outbreak which happened in 2000/2001.The IFP believes that to ensure that a cholera outbreak doesn’t occur in KZN, both short-term and long-term solutions are needed.
We need a multisectoral cholera elimination plan which encompasses different stakeholders such as those responsible for the provision of clean water, sanitation and health education.
Many people in KwaZulu-Natal only have the right to safe water and sanitation on paper.
Sanitation is a cornerstone of public health and should be a priority. The right to clean water and sanitation should not remain a pipedream forever.
The IFP believes that the first step to realising these rights is to acknowledge that we have a huge crisis that calls for the rethinking of strategies, at both national, provincial and local levels. Without enough dedicated budgets for sanitation, water and infrastructure, the constitutionally recognised right to water and sanitation will never materialise.
While we understand that many people are affected by unending load-shedding, the IFP calls upon people to play their active role by ensuring that they boil water and wash their hands constantly.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health,
078 302 3991