FRANCISTOWN: Mayor Godisang Radisigo has revealed that the Greater Francistown District Health Management Team (DHMT) has detected 10 cases of measles at Chadibe village, which is a part of the Shashe West Constituency.
When addressing councillors during an Ordinary Council Session, Radisigo said the Greater Francistown DHMT had an outbreak of measles in Chadibe in January. This is the first reported measles outbreak since 2010. He said so far, a total of 10 cases of measles were detected in the Greater Francistown DHMT. Measles is a viral respiratory disease that is transmitted by air when the infected person coughs or sneezes and can be contracted at any age. “The outbreak was detected when two children aged three and five that were brought into Chadibe Clinic and tested positive.
Following the results there was a rapid response team activated which included the community leadership,” the mayor said. Furthermore, Radisigo elaborated that seven more cases were detected following contact tracing and active case finding. “One more case, a visitor from Tsolamosese in the Greater Gaborone DHMT was detected in Tati Siding,” Radisigo added. Fortunately, he reported that there were no deaths recorded and all the patients have since recovered well. He noted that none of the affected children had received the immunisation and vaccination nor had an Under-Five card. He implored community members to vaccinate their children and seek medical help when they are unfit. The Ministry of Health released a press statement on measles detection in Botswana to alert the public. According to the statement so far, a total of 13 cases of measles and one rubella case have been detected in Greater Gaborone, Kweneng, Greater Francistown, Tutume, Serowe/Palapye and Greater Selebi-Phikwe DHMTs.
The statement further reads that measles is a vaccine-preventable disease which can be deadly, particularly for children who have missed routine child immunisation. The main symptoms of the disease include fever and rash. Additionally, the press release indicates that the most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea and related dehydration as well as ear infection or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia. The ministry further advised the public not to panic but remain vigilant since all processes are in place to detect and control the spread of the disease.