Authorities join efforts to fight cholera

MINISTER of Local Government and Housing Steven Kampyongo (left) with Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya inspect open market stalls in Lusaka’s Kanyama Township following an outbreak of cholera in the area recently. PICTURE:COLLINS PHIRI

MORE cases of people with symptoms of cholera are expected to be recorded as the Ministry of Health cautions the public to be on alert to the water-borne disease, says Lusaka district medical officer Dr Gideon Zulu.
Dr Zulu said seven people are still admitted to the cholera centre in Kanyama and that they are out of danger. Initially, 20 cases were recorded with 13 being admitted.
Ministry of Health (MoH) deputy minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya said the ministry is taking a multi-sectoral approach to combat the disease.
Dr Chitalu said MoH is working with Lusaka City Council (LCC), Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company.
He was speaking in an interview at the cholera centre in Kanyama, where he went to reassure the patients.
“Control of this outbreak needs various stakeholders as the disease has issues to do with sanitation, water, nutrition, health and others,” he said.
Dr Chilufya also said among interventions to combat the disease, sensitisation is cardinal so as to contain the outbreak.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Stephen Kampyongo has appealed to the public to maintain clean environments because cholera is a preventable disease.
Mr Kampyongo said the ministry will supply clean water to Kanyama to enhance sanitation and hygiene.
He has also urged the public to avoid gatherings in cholera-affected areas.
“Those that have symptoms should quickly go to the nearest health centre,” he said.
To contain the disease, Mr Kampyongo said trading in affected areas may have to be cut down.
Mr Kampyongo, in the company of Dr Chilufya and other stakeholders, visited some markets in Kanyama to sensitise traders on the need to maintain clean surroundings.
Some traders who were selling meat in the open air blamed LCC for the unclean environment they are trading in, saying the local authority has not been pro-active in collecting garbage.
LCC town clerk Alex Mwansa said LCC has mobilised equipment to collect garbage in Kanyama.
He appealed to Zesco to exempt Kanyama, Matero, and Chipata townships from loadshedding for the areas to have adequate water for sanitation and help stop the spread of cholera.

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