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Health Minister Urges Vigilance as Cholera Outbreak Continues to Ravage the Nation

The Zambian government has expressed deep concern over the persistent cholera outbreak that began in October 2023 and has now spread across all provinces of the country. 

The Minister of Health, Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo, addressed the media, highlighting the ongoing efforts and challenges in combating the life-threatening disease.

As of the latest update, the cholera outbreak remains most severe in the capital city, Lusaka, with 288 out of 390 cases reported in the past 24 hours originating from the province. Matero constituency leads with 65 cases, followed closely by Kanyama with 61, Mandevu and Munali with 24 cases each, and 15 cases reported from Chawama constituency. 

The Hero’s Stadium cholera treatment center is currently accommodating 342 patients, including 140 males, 81 females, and 121 children.

The Ministry reported 476 discharges nationwide in the last 24 hours, with 384 of them from Lusaka. However, the nation also mourns 15 deaths during the same period, with 11 occurring in Lusaka, 2 in Central, and 1 each in Copperbelt and Northwestern provinces. 

The deaths include both individuals brought in dead and those succumbing to cholera-related complications within minutes of admission.

Despite the challenges, the Ministry has intensified community efforts in collaboration with other relevant ministries. Recent initiatives include the mobilization of citizens to clean various public places, focusing today on Kanyama constituency.

Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo took the opportunity to update on the oral cholera vaccination campaign, reporting that 1,808,186 individuals in hotspot areas have received vaccinations. 

Lusaka districts, particularly Chawama, Mandevu, Kanyama, and Matero constituencies, have seen the majority of vaccinations. The Minister emphasized that 47% of those vaccinated are male, and 53% are female.

Addressing the nation, Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo reiterated the importance of adhering to hygiene practices, such as using clean water for drinking and personal hygiene, washing hands regularly, and seeking immediate medical attention when experiencing symptoms of watery diarrhea and vomiting.

The Minister concluded her statement with a resounding call to action: “Let us Kick Out Cholera and move towards ZERO Cholera deaths!” The nation remains on high alert as the government continues its multisectoral response to control the cholera outbreak and mitigate its socio-economic impact.

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