Zimbabwe: Health Time Bomb - Gold Rush in Cyclone Hit Areas Cause Upsurge in STIs

12 September 2019

Gold rush in Cyclone Idai hit areas of Manicaland province has seen a drastic upsurge in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), a health catastrophe that is likely to give the ministry of Health and Child Care severe headache,.

The development might be a double whammy in the progress that has already been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS prevalence.

This came out during a media tour organised by The Ministry of Health and Child Care in conjunction with World Health Organisation (WHO), in a move that is meant to assess the impact of Cyclone Idai in the province.

In an interview with Tatenda Zuze, the Nurse in Charge at Muchadziya Clinic in Rusitu, confirmed that they are receiving an alarming number of STI cases mainly from Parara also known as Botero, a place where gold was discovered soon after the Cyclone Idai.

"We are now receiving at least 40 clients per month since April specifically from that area. Most of them are brave enough to come for treatment and we treat them when they come. We have even had cases of recurring infection," said Zuze.

"We are doing all we can to manage the situation but we still having to wait for patients to come to the clinic to seek treatment. We do campaigns at the gold panning areas and distributed condoms trying to preach the awareness gospel to the artisinal miners," said Zuze.

Botero areas were discovered gold soon after the cyclone idai pandemic. Gold was one of the minerals discovered in the area possibly as deposits of the waters that left devastating effects.

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