Zambia says succeeding in containing cholera outbreak

zAMBIA Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya [Photo courtesy: ZNBC]

zAMBIA Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya
[Photo courtesy: ZNBC]
Zambian health authorities on Tuesday said the country is close to containing a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 78 people since October.

Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said the number of cholera cases being recorded daily had dropped to less than a quarter of what was being reported two weeks ago.

“We continue to record a drop from an average 164 cases daily to average 25-30 cases per day. In the last 24 hours, we have had a total of 32 cases,” Chilufya said.

The country on 14 January relaxed rules imposed to curb the spread of the disease, including the closure of markets and schools, as the number of new cases being reported halved.

Cholera is a bacterial disease transmitted through food and water that causes severe diarrhoea that can lead to sometimes deadly dehydration.

Chilufya said the measures put in place to contain the outbreak were clearly working.

Following reports of a rise in cholera cases reported, President Edgar Lungu in December directed the military to clean markets and unblock drainage systems to help fight the spread of the disease.

“The civil-military operation that has been going on has paid dividends,” Chilufya said, referring to the presidential order for the military to join the clean-up exercise.

Chilufya said by Jan. 20, the government had vaccinated 1.3 million people, including inmates in congested prisons, against cholera.