Media Statement

To: All Editors and Health Journalists

Date: Sunday, 21 May 2023


Bloemfontein: The Free State MEC for Health, Ms. Mathabo Leeto facilitated a multi-sectoral meeting inclusive of Executive Mayors of Fezile Dabi, Ngwathe and Councillors with the District Outbreak Response Teams and Development Partners on Sunday afternoon, 21 May 2023.

The meeting received an update of the interventions that have been put in place to curb the spread of diarrhoea and cholera in Vredefort and Parys as well as surrounding areas of Fezile Dabi and the entire Free State.

The meeting heard that about 76 people were seen at various Clinics and hospitals in the District with Diarrhoeal infections and 6 were confirmed positive for Cholera and successfully treated at Parys Hospital and Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad.

Following the identification of the first laboratory confirmed case in the Free State on the 17th May 2023, the province, district, and local area Outbreak Response Teams were activated and included the Local and District municipality and supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Institute on Communicable Diseases (NICD).

These teams were already in the district since the 8th May 2023 after the Communicable Disease District Coordinator from Fezile Dabi District was notified of rapid, sudden increase of diarrhoea cases in Ngwathe local Municipality area.

The Teams working in Vredefort and Ngwathe in general are continuously monitoring the quality of water for all water sources supplying water to the community. Environmental risk assessment are also ongoing.

MEC Leeto appreciated the intervention efforts embarked upon by the Outbreak Response Teams and encouraged them to work with all stakeholders in the area to curb any further spread or recurrence of infections.

MEC Leeto warned that Diarrhoea and Cholera are on the rise in Southern Africa and are rapidly spreading Nationally and need to be halted as early as possible.

She noted that there’s no Cholera or Diarrhoea related deaths in the Free State and that the 6 confirmed cases of Cholera in the Free State are all in Vredefort and have all been treated and discharged. She further encouraged the community to adhere to all good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly with soap and clean water, boil the water they drink and wash all their food including vegetables with clean water.

The Free State is in the most vulnerable position as it is in the centre of the country surrounded by 6 provinces (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KZN, Northern Cape, North West) and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

We have 5 national key roads (N1, N3, N5, N6 and N8) that are connecting the country and the Kingdom of Lesotho, so we have to be on the alert as we get affected by whatever is happening around us.

“We have to work together consistently to curb any potential spread of infections and also make sure that the identified cases get treated immediately,” concluded Leeto.



Issued by Free State Department of Health Communication Service.

Further enquiries can be directed to:
Mondli Mvambi, Spokesperson: Free State Department of Health, 082 043 3744 and / or
Mr. Paballo Khamadi, Health MECs Media Liaison Officer, +27 (76) 720-0807