As Zambia is grappling with the the Cholera outbreak President Hakainde Hichilema has emphasised that no new settlements will be allowed without basic facilities, including roads, drainage, and water supply.
And the Head of State says as Zambia is working towards manufacturing Cholera vaccines, Government will aquire vaccines available sources in order to curb the outbreak.
In the last 24 hours, 736 more Cholera cases were recorded countrywide with 25 deaths.
During a press briefing this afternoon at his Community House residence, President Hichilema expressed condolences to families affected by the outbreak.
He highlighted the distressing reality that the disease had claimed the lives of many citizens, including a significant number of young people.
Urging citizens not to underestimate the severity of the disease, President Hichilema implored individuals to seek medical attention promptly.
He highlighted the alarming statistic that 50 percent of deaths are as a result of delays in seeking medical treatment so he called on communities to take proactive measures, such as providing immediate transportation to medical facilities without waiting for ambulances.
Meanwhile President Hichilema addressed the issue of lawlessness in settlements and pledged to strengthen building standards.
“Going forward again, there will be no settlement, Minister of Health (Sylvia Masebo). We have to strengthen, reinforce building standards,” President Hichilema said.
“No new settlements should be allowed without the basic facilities. What are they? Roads, once more. Drainage. Water supply. There will be no new shallow wells ever again in the urban settings.”
President Hichilema further instructed ministries such as Health,Local Government, and Water, Sanitation to collaborate to prevent the mushrooming of illegal settlements.
“It will be your duty to see what new settlements are coming through, and when they don’t have the minimum requirements, which we have to define anyway, we have to shut those places down,” the Head of State said.
“So where the laws are weak, we will legislate procedures. (Where) processes are weak, we will tighten them up Overall. We should come out of this Annual Stuff (Cholera cases) once and for all.”
Furthermore, President Hichilema provided insights into the imminent arrival of World Health Organisation (WHO)-supported vaccines and plans for their distribution.
Professor Roma Chilengi, the COVID-19 advisor to President Hichilema, who is also doubling as the head of the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) said one million doses of the vaccine will arrive on January 14.
Professor Chilengi said as the quantity will be insufficient, Government plans on prioritising the distribution to the areas most affected by Cholera.
President later assured the public of ongoing efforts to tackle the cholera outbreak and encouraged citizens to adhere to guidelines and directives for the greater good of the nation.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba January 9, 2023