Over 4,600 people in Lukanga Swamps in Kapiri Mposhi district have been vaccinated against cholera.This is out of 5,000 people targeted to receive the vaccine to avert the outbreak of the viral disease in the area.
According to the World Health Organisation, cholera vaccination is a complementary cholera prevention and control measure, which can be implemented in the short-to-medium term, while access to other primary prevention measures such as safe water and sanitation improve.Recent scientific research suggests that the first dose alone of the vaccine provides short-term protection.A study by Ferreras et al. (2018) in Zambia concluded that single-dose regimens provide protection in populations with less exposure to cholera, such as those in Lusaka and much of Africa.
During the 2018 first quarter District Development Coordinating Committee Meeting (DDCC) District Health Senior Environmental Health Officer Nephat Banda
said the District Medical Office (DMO) decided to administer the vaccine in Lukanga Swamps following the presence of Vibrio Cholerae in all the seven samples of water collected in the area.
“Late last year, we tested water in the swamps and it was discovered that the water was contaminated, so we embarked on implementing various interventions among them vaccinating 4, 665 people against cholera,” Mr. Banda said.
Mr. Banda noted that the area which is susceptible to cholera all year round had not recorded any case of the viral disease partly because of the timely administration of the vaccine.He stated that his office is still on the ground implementing various interventions that include sensitization campaigns in the area on hygienic practices.
“Lukanga Swamps is endemic to cholera and when we started recording the disease elsewhere in the country we had to implement interventions to serve the live of the people,” Mr. Banda said.
And the DDCC has commended government for extending the fishing ban in all the fisheries in view of the outbreak of Cholera in the country.
Research shows that although cholera occurs throughout Africa, its highest incidence is concentrated in a small proportion of the continent. Prioritising high-risk areas could substantially increase the efficiency of cholera control programmes.