President Lungu has deployed the military to help battle Cholera, which has seen 41 people dead and 1550 more since September this year. according to WHO, the initial outbreak stated on the 28 the of September. The ministry of health has put measures in place in an effort to the contain the outbreak.
Cholera is a disease of the small intestine caused the bacteria Vibro cholera. it is spread when through drinking fecal-oral route through contaminated food or water. People with Cholera often have diarrhea and disease transmission may happen if it is a high watery stool. Cholera is very treatable and treatment involves replacing the electrolytes that are lost through uncontrollable diarrhea. If untreated it is very lethal, death is from dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
Below are the measures that have been put in place to combat the infection according to relief web these measures where put in place on the 11th of December.
- The Ministry of Health is collaborating with WHO and other partners to control the outbreak.
- Five Cholera Treatment Centres have been established in Chawama, Chipata, Kanyama, Matero and Bauleni sub-districts to manage cases. So far, 441 cases were successfully treated and discharged.
- Cholera Outbreak Guidelines and standard operating procedures have been updated and shared with health workers.
- The facilities in Lusaka District have continued with active surveillance, health education, chlorine distribution, contact tracing and environmental health monitoring.
- The local authorities in collaboration with the Ministry of Health have embarked on closing contaminated water points and has implemented Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions to improve water supplies in affected areas. This includes the provision of household chlorine, disinfection of pit latrines, erection of water tanks, installation of water purifiers and intensification of water quality monitoring.
- The Lusaka City Council has intensified collection of garbage and emptying of septic tanks in Kanyama and Chipata as priority areas.
In a statement president, Lungu directed all the three wings of the defense force to join the ministry of health contain the spread of cholera in the capital city and the rest of Zambia. In a statement president, Lungu said: “the spread is due to contaminated food”. As a result, there will be a crackdown on food stall and bars and restaurant that do maintain food hygiene standards”
The world health organization have warned that the outbreak is likely to worsen due to the start of the rain season.
A study done by the national institute of health found that lack of drainage system increased the risk of cholera outbreaks. This is the first time there have been cholera outbreaks in Zambia, according to UNICEF there were 1,179 total cases of cholera in 2016, clawing the lives of 31 people. Eight of these were children.
The military has been deployed to help with the cleanup because the council does not have the necessary manpower to deal with the outbreak according to sources in Zambia. Other reports indicate that the military has been given authority to close shops that they deem as not complying with food health and safety.
Finally, to prevent Outbreaks like these from happening Zambia has to address the root cause, of these outbreaks.