Diarrhoea cases at its lowest

Proper hand washing is a simple and effective way to avoid contracting diarrhoea.

City clinics and hospitals have reported seeing a sharp drop in diarrhoea cases.

There is an annual spike in diarrhoea and pneumonia cases – both of which can be deadly in young children – reported at primary health-care centres from November to May, but diarrhoea cases were at their lowest in five years during the most recent “surge season”, according to mayoral committee member for community health services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien.

There was a 13% drop in diarrhoea cases at City clinics during 2018/19 compared to the previous year. There was also an 18% drop in the number of diarrhoea cases needing hospital admission.

There was, however, an increase in reported pneumonia cases – 12 045 of them, according to Dr Badroodien, although he did not provide a percentage to show the relative change. Hospital admissions for pneumonia had remained stagnant, he said.

“Diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition are among the biggest health risks to young children in the developing world, even though these are not only treatable, but preventable. The statistical trends show progress in some areas but also point to areas where more work is required,” Dr Badroodien said.

He appealed to parents to seek help at their local clinic if they believed their children needed treatment.

“It is better to be safe than sorry. Also, with many of our clinics now using appointment systems, visits are shorter than before.”