No case of Listeriosis recorded in Zambia-Health Minister

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Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya
Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya

Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has revealed that Zambia has so far not recorded any case of Listeriosis.

In a statement, Dr Chilufya said the Ministry is working with local and international stakeholders to ensure that Zambians are protected from the outbreak.

He has since urged the general public to take extra caution regarding eating risky foods which include processed, ready to eat meat products, soft cheese and dairy products to prevent the disease.

“My Ministry has in place resilient health systems that are able to detect threats to national security and prevent such outbreaks in the country. Further, the Ministry has strengthened Port Health systems to monitor food imports into the country in line with the public health act cap. 295 and the food and drugs act cap 303 of the laws of Zambia,” Dr Chilufya said.

He added, “the disease surveillance and intelligence team, as well as health inspectors have been directed to diligently investigate all suspicious food products. And take appropriate action, including destroying of contaminated or suspicious products.”

Dr Chilufya said Zambia has imposed an immediate ban on imports of risky foods including processed meats, dairy products, vegetables and fruits from South Africa

He said the points of entry have been instructed to seize all suspected risky products.

“All Chief Executive Officers of major chain stores in Zambia which include Pick and Pay and Shoprite have been engaged and directed to cooperate with health inspectors in the removal and disposal of the risky products from their shelves and stores,” Dr Chilufya said.

He said laboratory investigations will be carried out at the University Teaching Hospital by the Micro biology laboratory and at the University of Zambia, in the School of Veterinary medicine.

“The National Codex Alimentarius Committee will conduct a scientific risk assessment on cold meats to ascertain the risk in the country. Risk communication to the public through various media platforms on preventative measures which include avoiding eating risky foods, including processed, ready to eat meat products, soft cheese and unpasturised milk and dairy products. I must reiterate that although listerosis is a serious disease, it is treatable and preventable.”

Listeriosis is a food borne disease and the first case was recorded on Jan 1st 2017 in South Africa and as of March 4th 2018, a total of 948 cases had been laboratory confirmed with a total of 180 deaths in that country.

Listeriosis is caused by a bacteria called listerio monosycogenes and it has symptoms such as fever and sometimes nausea and diarrhoea while in severe cases, the bacteria may spread to the blood stream and nervous system with symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. It may also be fatal.

The risk groups include pregnant women and new borns, the elderly who are over 65 and the immunal compromised adults.

Infected pregnant women may experience a mild flu like illness and in more serious cases, it may cause miscarriage, still births, premature delivery or life threatening infection to the new born.

In South Africa, 85 percent of the patients interviewed reported having eaten ready to eat processed foods.

Meat products of which polony was the most common followed by viennas, sausages and other cold meats.

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22 COMMENTS

    • I have NEVER heard of Listeriosis and I have a PhD

      What on earth is it?

      What a backward country

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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    • Mufana mushota azi che diseases like impele, cholera, typhoid, ichifuba chamankowesha, sangaizibe at listeriosis.

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    • I agree with you Nostradamus. All the cases of listeriosis in Zambia were captured in the cholera data over the past several weeks. His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba can still keep his job in Pretoria …

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    • I don’t believe Dr.Cholera Chitalu Chilufya….anyway, we are still battling with Cholera

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  1. Do we routinely test for Listeria in Zambia? If we do not then we can not confidently say it does not exist within our borders.

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    • I don’t think so. I don’t think there are any such routine tests. These politicians are just good at reading speeches without asking themselves a simple question You’ve just asked. They only want to run to ZNBC and read a speech in front of the camera.

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  2. As if they will even know the disease. It’s only that South Africa had mentioned. Otherwise Zambians would’ve continued eating the contaminated meat without even knowing it. Thank South Africa we’ve been told. Maybe people have already died from it in Zambia. They were probably misdiagnosed cases.

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  3. This disease is called Cholera in Zambia. Please explain in plain language.

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    • Chitalu Chilufya, the man who runs his Ministry in front of TV cameras. His Office is the TV screen!!!

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  4. He said laboratory investigations will be carried out at the University Teaching Hospital by the Micro biology laboratory and at the University of Zambia, in the School of Veterinary medicine.this statement invalidates all what the minister is saying about no deaths reported,98% of sudden deaths in zambia ,govt doesnot carry out postemoteinto determine the cause of death.lost my cousin within 24 hrs of suspected food bacteria infection.

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  5. Pray that the ban imposed on the importation of the named foods will be permanent. Really, do still need to import meat and meat products, vegetables, fruits [of whatever kind], chickens, eggs, etc, etc. from South Africa? Government should put in a firm policy banning the importation of these foods and encourage their growing and processing in the country. Eat what we grow; if we don’t grow, we don’t eat!!! As simple as that. We must be weary of cheap GMO foods from South Africa: They are deadly.

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    • You’re right. If south Africans want to sell us processed meat, they should set up factories here and use locally produced meat so that we can also increase our manufacturing base and employ Zambians. Why should we keep South Africans in employment and they pay us by selling us diseased meat? Where are our own farmers going to sale their beef if we keep buying from SA? I hope they don’t even sale us a combination of horse, dog, cat and donkey meat especially in polony.

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  6. Stop showing you ignorance ba upnd, lISTERIOSIS is not cholera and are caused by diferent bacterium. Listeriosis is caused by a bacteria called LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES and is foung in soil and water. Animals carry the bacteria and can contaimnate meat and daily products. Vegitables can also be contamnated through the soil or animal manure used as fertilizes. (For more details go to https//www. Webmd.com) my advise to upnd cadre is to stop spreading lies as it can mislead our majority uninformed populace who will die because of false information from you. Lies won’t take you to statehouse but has a potential to lead this nation to unforgettable disaster.

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  7. Kikiki as if they even know how to diagnose it, it took the South Africans themselves to tell us, shut up quack!

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    • Exactly. They can’t even tell us when they last diagnosed it in Zambia because they’ve never done it I guess. The disease has probably claimed a lot of Zambian lives by now.

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  8. But Chitalu Chilufya himself looks like he is seriously infected with Listeriosis.

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  9. Whatever the minister would say, HaNegatives Dept will still find something from the Hanegative Book of Hallucinations!

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