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CHOLERA UPDATE

LUSAKA (October 31, 2017) The Ministry of Health is investigating cases suspected to be typhoid because of the high level of underground water contamination in Lusaka.

Specimens have so far been collected to help with the investigations.Permanent Secretary (Administration) Dr Kennedy Malama said, from some of the water samples conducted during this period indicated high level water contamination hence the need to investigate further.Dr Malama said, once there is high level of contamination, it may not just be cholera but other water borne diseases, therefore, it is important to investigate further. On the other hand, Dr Malama said when a patient comes through with suspected typhoid, they are treated before confirmation because it is important to save life by giving early treatment than waiting for confirmation especially when a patient is critically ill.

Meanwhile, Lusaka has seen a reduction in new suspected and confirmed cholera cases.The situation is stable with 130 cumulative cases since the disease broke out on 6 October 2017. Dr Malama said the Ministry will, however, not take chances because of the looming rainy season which fuels the disease.The Permanent Secretary said the situation is under control countrywide and the Ministry is closely monitoring the situation atthe Refugee Camp in Nchelenge.

Dr Malama said the provincial health team, which is on the ground, would ensure that all the people coming to seek asylum in Zambia are provided with the best health care services.The Ministry has heightened provision of chlorine, health promotion and working with stakeholders in improving access to clean and safedrinking water.

Burying of shallow wells and decontaminating pit latrins has continued. The ministry is also providing information education communication activities using various channels.Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is supplying free water to the vulnerable communities.

Issued by
Stanslous Ngosa
Head Communications & External Relations

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