One Cholera case has been recorded at Mtendere Mission Hospital in Chirundu Township of Siavonga District in Southern Province.
Four more patients with serious diarrhoea have also been recorded from the site were the more than 100 villagers who were displaced last week have settled.
Siavonga District Director of Health, Joseph Kabungo, confirmed the outbreak of the epidemic in an interview with Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Siavonga this morning.
Dr Kabungo disclosed that the cholera patient, who is said to have travelled from Mazabuka to Chirundu township, is admitted to the mission hospital were she is undergoing treatment in isolation. She had travelled to visit her relatives who were displaced in Chirundu last week by a named investor.
More than 100 families have been left homeless in Nabakuyu village after an investor swung into action last week and demolished houses following a Lusaka High Court order that was passed in the investor’s favour.
However, the Office of the Vice President quickly came to the aid of the affected villagers and supplied them with tents and food stuffs.
But Dr Kabungo described the area where the villagers have since settled as a potential site for a huge epidemic.
Dr Kabungo observed that more cholera cases are expected because the area lacks basic needs such as toilets and safe drinking water to cater for the villagers.
“When you look at this area you cannot be so sure because it is a potential site for a huge epidemic as last season we had a disaster and if nothing is done we are going to have a huge disaster,” he noted.
He described the area where the villagers have settled as a refugee camp and not fit for human habitation, adding that it is totally unacceptable for people to use the bush as toilets.
“As a department we are already constrained with the resources and, therefore, we cannot afford to set up a cholera camp which will really cater for a huge huge population if we have serious outbreak there,” he said.
He said the break out of the disease in the area would have been avoided had the investor applied human conditions.
Dr Kabungo, however, assured that as a department they have put in place cholera control measures such as distribution of chlorine and giving general health education on common diarrhea diseases relating to onset of rain season.