Victory against Cholera near!

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SIGNS of victory against the Cholera-causing vibrio bacteria have started showing, thanks to the efforts of government, the citizenry and a host of other stakeholders.

The last two days have seen a reduction in both new Cholera cases and deaths.

Yesterday, the country recorded a total number of 17 deaths and 528 newly cases, while on Tuesday, 25 people died while 736 tested positive to the disease.

However in the past 24 hours, the country recorded 18 deaths with 457 new cases 580 patients were discharged after being successfully treated.

There has also been a reduction in the number of admitted patients who stood at 1,113 yesterday and today at 1,017.

Speaking during a handover of donated items to government, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo noted that of the 18 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, two died from the health facility while 16 were recorded as Brought-In-dead from the community.

According to Masebo, the new cases in the last 24 hours are distributed from nine provinces country wide with 406 cases coming from Lusaka Province alone, 28 from Central Province, seven in Eastern Province, five in Southern Province, four on the Copperbelt, three in North-western Province, two from Western, and one each from Muchinga and Northern Provinces respectively.

Copperbelt, Western and Muchinga Provinces have recorded imported cases.

“I am hopeful that this downward trend is the beginning of the end of this outbreak,” said Masebo.

According to health statistics, Cholera deaths are more concurrent in the communities than Cholera centers, representing a percentage of 25 percent death at health facilities against 75 percent in communities.

“We have recorded a total of 18 deaths in the last 24 hours. Of all the deaths, 16 were in the community and 2 in the cholera treatment facilities across the country, indicating further improvement in clinical management. We acknowledge the resilience and great efforts of our workforce and continue to strive to get to zero facility deaths. All the16 deaths occurred in Lusaka Province. Specifically, 17 occurred in Lusaka District, and 1 in Chilanga District. The cumulative death toll is now at 310,” said Masebo.

The minister emphasized on the need for all victims to first seek medical help and guidance at a nearest health center before being taken to a Cholera treatment center.

Masebo revealed that water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiatives have been escalated across the country with almost 107 out of the planned 238 water tanks with 10,000-liter capacity have been installed in strategic areas of the cholera hotspots.

“In addition, solid waste management, involving the clearing of drains and dump sites, is being done. The Government has also embarked on emptying 20,000 pit latrines as well as super chlorinating and the burying all shallow wells,” Masebo said.

She called on all citizens to take personal hygiene seriously and always boil or chlorinate their drinking water and cook their food thoroughly while avoiding street food.

She added that part of governments surveillance efforts in response to the outbreak includes conducting inspections of trading and food premises and contact tracing of the cases reported.

“We, are also encouraging business owners and members of the communities to keep their surroundings clean. The government is supporting this exercise by the distribution of granular and liquid chlorine in targeted areas. We discourage street vending and indiscriminate waste disposal, let us all play our part in the fight against Cholera by being a brother’s keeper and adhering to the advice that is being shared,” Masebo said.

By Buumba Mwitumwa

Kalemba January 11, 2024

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