Cholera Patients in a tent
Cholera Patients in a tent

The opposition UPND has called on the government to declare the cholera outbreak a national emergency especially that the military have been called in to assist.

UPND Chairman for Health Dr Christopher Kaliwa said the government should tell the citizens which other parts of the country are affected.

Dr Kalili has also called upon government to immediately implement the World Health Organisation guidelines for the control of cholera epidemics.

“We also urge the timely and adequate release financial resources for this cause. The Public Health Act is outdated and should be amended to conform to current public health concerns,” Dr Kalila said in a statement.

Below is the full statement

Sunday 31st December 2017

UPND Official Statement on Cholera Outbreak

The UPND wishes to express it condolences and sympathies to those of our citizens who are affected the by the current outbreak of cholera in Lusaka an elsewhere. It is very sad and painful that 53 years after independence live continues to be lost year in year out from preventable diseases such as cholera. Cholera is a disease of poor hygiene often occasioned by lack of clean water and sanitation. If is therefore a disease of poor social development.

It is a barometer of the country’s social economic conditions. There is no doubt that most of our people in Lusaka live in squalor and very little effort over the years has been made to improve their conditions particularly in the areas of water, sanitation and housing. Consequently, with sadness that cholera is now endemic in Zambia.

We are told that the current epidemic started on 6th October 2017 and that cumulatively well over 1600 cases have been reported with 42 deaths.

We have been informed that the epidemic is mainly concentrated in Lusaka. We gather that the outbreak has so far affected over 80 residential areas of Lusaka district. This very frightening given the unplanned nature of Lusaka’s settlements. Add to this the poor drainage and unsanitary conditions that exist in Lusaka we can expect cases to rise if no drastic measures are taken. With more rains and flooding yet to come, we expect that the epidemic is yet to reach its peak.

As UPND we note the measures and interventions being implemented by the Government including the spot visit to Garden Compound by the President and his statement to upgrade townships in Lusaka. We hope this pronouncement will be backed by action by the relevant ministries in the shortest period of time.

However, we are saddened by the perennial occurrence of cholera in Lusaka and other parts of the country even when we know the root causes such as lack of safe and clean drinking water and sanitation, poor drainages, unsanitary trading practices that include the sale of food staffs in undesignated arrears and policies that promote unregulated street vending.

Clearly, If the government had been proactive with the provision water and sanitation, adequate housing and disease prevention which includes continuous surveillance and early warning systems we would not be in this situation. The buck therefore stops at government.

The UPND would like to call upon all our citizens to fully cooperate with health authorities in their efforts to control this cholera outbreak. We appeal to all citizens to heed to the instructions from technocrats in particular to boil and chlorinate drinking water, wash hands after using the toilet, avoid shaking hands and public gatherings and not to buy food and water from the streets.

Lastly we call upon the government to declare this cholera outbreak a national emergency especially that the military have been called in to assist. The government should tell the citizens which other parts of the country are affected. We call upon our colleagues in government to immediately implement the WHO guidelines for the control of cholera epidemics. We also urge the timely and adequate release financial resources for this cause. The Public Health Act is outdated and should be amended to conform to current public health concerns.

We in the UPND would like to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to work with all stakeholders to stop this cholera outbreak. We would like to assure the citizens that we represent an alternative healthcare strategy that will be premised on primary healthcare that emphasises prevention rather than cure. To this end we will commit significant resources to Water and Sanitation and a robust community health strategy that places health delivery in the hand of citizens while at the same time strengthening all aspects of our healthcare systems. With us you will never not be left behind.

Hon. Dr.Christopher Kalila, MP
UPND Chairman for Health

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24 COMMENTS

    • ZNS and Disaster management team need to set up individual tents, not the way cholera patients are being prepared to die.
      I doubt anyone discharged from those tents.

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    • This is indeed a national disaster. The priorities of Lungu’s govt are questionable. Dr.Chilufya should be judge according to this outbreak

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    • The challenge for the revision of the Public Health Act is interesting, let us see if Dr Cholera Chitalu Chilufya will work on it…or is he just talk?

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    • How can a country have a cyclical cholera problem year after year like the army worm? What are the responsible ministries doing in their planning? This is embarrassing and to save face those heading these ministries should step down for it is sheer incompetence on their part for not instituting preventive measures! Does it even occur that such epidemics sabotage the economy? Cholera affects tourism and the army worm affects grain yields so holistic planning approaches between ministries is a must!

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    • I thought it has already been declared a national disaster. Army is in place. That is a national disaster. But brilliant points from the MP. And it is good that we have UPND members who know that there is a President in this country.

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  1. A little too late as usual.
    The UPND is naturally reactive than proactive.
    The Green Party does a far more better job.
    Furthermore,no alternative solution is being offered except hope that the government follows up on its words.

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  2. A sober and mature statement from upnd in a very very long time!! And Dr. Kalila refers to lungu as president but hakainde continues living in dreamland with his petition

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  3. Declaring a State of Emergency will not solve the problem.

    We need to rather focus on how to overcome the challenge. There are a number of requirements and suggestions that can work immediately: education and awareness, proper waste collection procedures and disposal sites among others.
    Particularly in Lusaka the enforcement of waste management policies and involvement of community members in cleaning up of surroundings should be encouraged by all institutions regardless of political affiliation.

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    • Awareness and enforcement requires money. That is why declaring it a national disaster will compel the Disaster Management Unit to get involved and release money.

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    • Spot on Mr Lombe…….Cholera is a national disaster and focusing on one location wont help the situation as the garbage and unsanitary conditions are everywhere.

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  4. Someone would have a hard time recognising that the current Health Minister is a Medical Doctor. The cares less about people and people’s lives. He acts more like a Procurement Officer in the Ministry of Health. He is so much interested in buying Ambulances and medicinal drugs than the health of citizens.

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  5. Have you seen the name of the said UPND official above?Dr.Christopher Kaliwa(bantustan)…. kekekekekeke.when we say upnd is a regional party,this is what we mean.if upnd can publicise the names of its senior officials,Zambians can be shocked.this one reason why HH brought in GBM and Mutale Nalumango then distanced himself from real upnd members such as Jack Mwiimbu,Garry Nkombo,C.Mweetwa,etc!!GBM AND MUTALE NALUMANGO SHOULD OPEN THEIR EYES THAN BEING USED BY HH!!UPND is simply on tribal crusade-period!!!
    Back to the issue ,IF CHOLERA OUTBREAK IS DECLARED AS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY-WILL THAT PUT AN END TO IT BO UPND?kekekekeke upnd is full of nonsense!!this party never offers any solution.Govnt is already work on this issue seriously!!WE HAD A WORST CHOLERA OUTBREAK UNDER DR.KK’S UNIP SO…

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  6. Hon Dr Kalila, you are fired!!! How dare you call Edgar Chagwa Lungu as The President? Don’t you know that our official policy is not to recognise Edgar Lungu as the President until our southern koswe hh says so? How dare you offer to cooperate with Edgar Lungu’s government? Dont you know that cholera will bring votes to our party upnd, therefore we want it to continue at all costs? Kwena amasambililo mwe bambi bu puba!

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  7. How many remember the versatile guitarist/musician of the time Paul Ngozi (MHSRIP) and for how long he has been off the face of this earth? In his social commentary cholera was already an issue, alas! Cholera is now endemic in Zambia without control in sight! I shudder to think what the result would be with this ongoing failure to contain Cholera should Ebola decide to visit with Cholera in Zambia!

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  8. They were informed in October when cholera just started but they didn’t take any action upon that. And now their taking action after 2000 cases has been reported. what are they doing just playing around with government money

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  9. AGAIN ANOTHER AFRICAN GOVERNMENT THAT IS CORRUPT AND ONLY CARING ABOUT THEIR OWN BANK ACCOUNTS.

    YOU ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT WANT TO TELL ME THAT YOU DID NOT SEE THIS COMING.

    YOU ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT ARE NOT AWARE OF IT THAT A GOVERNMENT HAS TO BE THERE FOR THE PEOPLE, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

    WHAT IS THE SALARY OF THE ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT, BET THAT HIS YEAR SALARY COULD MAKE A NICE DIFFERENCE IN HAVING PROPER SANITARY SYSTEMS AND PROPER SEWAGE.

    TAKE CARE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT, ONE DAY A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL NOT ACCEPT YOU ANYMORE.

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  10. Zambians, are you aware of it that one of the biggest money making machines in the world is the pharmaceutical industry, for sure your minister of health is interested in getting more medication in the Zambian market, I would not be surprised about it that it is filling his bank account nicely.

    HELLO WAKE UP

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  11. Fact is that if your minister of health would prevent medical disaster from happening you would not need medication, hmmm, would that affect his bank account?????

    EHHH…. YES.

    it is a lot cheaper for your government to see to it that proper preventive measures are taken to NOT HAVE A CHOLERA OUT-BREAK, than to cure it.

    Now, why did they not take action, and try to prevent it?

    Because they are stupid, hmm.. I do not think so
    Because trying to cure it and fight it could maybe make them more money, hmmm…. that starts to become an interesting theory.

    What about the people that would die in the process?
    EHH… well that is collateral damage.

    ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT WHAT ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS??????????

    TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE FIRST, that is what you are there for, and NOT TO…

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  12. let as work together and stop pointing fingers at one other, the problem is at hand. the matter here is how can we elevate this cholera problem not bringing politics here…..

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