Over 70,000 people in Nsama district of Northern Province have successfully received the second dose of the oral Cholera vaccination in the first ever massive campaign.
National Cholera Elimination Coordinator Fred Kapaya expressed happiness that his team has managed to record a one hundred percent coverage of the second round of the oral cholera vaccination programme in Nsama.
Dr. Kapaya said Ministry of health working with other partners is implementing a programme aimed at eradicating cholera in 20 cholera prone districts in Zambia.
He was however, quick to note that the programme which started on a slow note due to myths and misconceptions gained momentum after various interventions such as engagement of local leadership from the churches, schools and traditional leaders.
He thanked senior chief Nsama and his village headmen for taking up a leading role in ensuring that all the people are administered with the vaccine.
Dr. Kapaya warned those immunized especially in hot spot areas like Kapisha and Nsumbu not to relent but continue observing good hygiene practices to prevent the possible outbreak of cholera in the area.
“My appeal to communities is not to ignore basic preventative measures as the key drivers of this epidemic include consumption of contaminated water and food, poor waste management, and poor personal hygiene practices which must change,” said Dr.Kapaya.
He disclosed that the benefits of the vaccine cannot be over emphasized as can be seen in areas like Mpulungu district which has not recorded any cholera case since the vaccine was administered.
Dr. Kapaya thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) for supporting Ministry of Health to coordinate the oral cholera vaccination campaign, including provisional of logistics and vaccines.
And Lake Tanganyika Development Project Coordinator Dora Kamweneshe is optimistic that the water reticulation project being undertaken will help in the fight against cholera in Nsumbu once completed.
“We are hoping as a project we will be contributing to the reduction in the number of cholera cases through the provision of clean and safe water to the people of Nsumbu,”Ms. Kamweneshe noted.
And Jennifer Konkola, a resident of Nsama’s Katete area said the move is a clear demonstration of government’s commitment in the fight and prevention against further outbreaks of cholera.
Ms. Konkola who thanked Government and its partners for the exercise said prevention is better than cure.