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Cholera Crisis Threatens Zambia’s Economy

Zambia is grappling with the economic fallout of a severe cholera outbreak, with experts predicting substantial losses amounting to approximately K8 billion in the first quarter of 2024. 

Economic analyst Mr. Kelvin Chisanga warns that the cholera-induced challenges, coupled with existing economic woes, pose a significant threat to the country’s growth prospects.

Since October 2023, Zambia has recorded a staggering 5463 cholera cases, resulting in 223 deaths. The alarming figures have prompted concerns not only within the healthcare management sector but also among key stakeholders in the nation’s economy. 

Mr. Chisanga emphasizes that the impact of cholera extends beyond the immediate health crisis, permeating into various sectors, including agriculture, mining, manufacturing, commerce, and trade.

Mr. Chisanga underscores the multifaceted challenges Zambia faces, including an unstable local currency, unpredictable climate patterns, anticipated low power supply, and ongoing underperformance in key economic sectors. 

He asserts that the cumulative effect of these factors is poised to hinder positive and substantial growth that the nation desperately needs for economic recovery.

An economic analyst highlights the crucial role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in addressing health challenges and advocates for the deployment of sufficient health supplies and materials as a means to mitigate the effects of the cholera outbreak. 

Mr. Chisanga calls for concerted efforts from key stakeholders to make informed investment decisions in cholera prevention, control, and treatment activities.

In response to the crisis, he urges a multi-stakeholder engagement forum involving private companies. This collaborative effort is deemed necessary to combat the economic impact of cholera, which could affect every player in the economy. Treatment costs and productivity losses loom large, making it imperative for businesses to actively participate in mitigating the effects on their operations.

As Zambia grapples with the dual challenges of a cholera outbreak and economic uncertainties, stakeholders are urged to unite in the fight against cholera and work collectively towards preserving the nation’s economic stability.

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