The Lusaka Environmental Health University – LEHU has commended the government through the Ministry of Health for taking a quick action in addressing the cholera outbreak in Vubwi District of Eastern Province after receiving an alert on this outbreak.
The Ministry of Health received an alert indicating a cholera outbreak in Vubwi District of Eastern Province since 22nd January, 2023.
Vubi District has confirmed 4 cases and are investigating 7 suspected cases, with one death recorded this far.
In this regard, as the Lusaka Environmental Health University (LEHU), a specialised research-based private university and the the first of its kind in Zambia offering training in three (3) related health fields; Bsc. Public Health, Bsc. Environmental Health, and Bsc. Occupational Health and Safety, further commends the Ministry of Health for intensifying surveillance activities including active case search and contact tracing, as this will help curb the widespread of cholera in the district and surrounding areas.
In a statement issued to Lusaka Times by the Lusaka Environmental Health University Public Relations and Marketing Department, it was stated that more can still be done to combat this cholera outbreak.
Lusaka Environmental Health University is therefore calling on the government through the Ministry of Health to put in place stringent measures in Eastern Province such as screening at the point of exit, as this will help curb the widespread of cholera in the Province, and avoiding this important exercise may pose a greater danger of the widespread of cholera to other parts of the country especially now that we are in the rain season.
“As an Institution that advocates for a safe and clean environment, we feel the need and urgency for measures to be enforced in Eastern province such as conducting a test and screening exercise on all the would be travellers from Eastern province going into other parts of the country,” they said
“We are urging the Ministry of Health through their Provincial and District Health Offices to assign their officers to be conducting screening that can be done at the point of exit from Eastern province as this will ensure that all those leaving Eastern province test negative from cholera and are free and safe,” they added
The Lusaka Environmental Health University has since appealed to the general public to ensure that they put in place health measures as outlined by the Ministry of Health, measures such as keeping surroundings clean at all times, maintaining good personal hygiene, avoid buying ready to eat food from the streets, always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating, always keep your food covered and away from flies, and ensure that your food is properly cooked.
Zambia faces challenges to attain universal access to safe and clean drinking water, as well as inadequate sanitation, especially in densely populated and unplanned settlements in urban settings. These conditions, coupled with the poor hygiene practices among citizens, has caused recurrent outbreaks of WASH related diseases. To note, although Cholera is endemic in Zambia, the country has not had an outbreak since 2019 owing to various cholera preventive interventions being implemented within the context of the country’s Multi-sectoral Cholera Elimination Plan.
Furthermore, Zambia has set a legacy goal to eliminate cholera in the country by 2025. The Government is committed to eliminating cholera by 2025 in Zambia through a multisectoral approach to be anchored under the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
The strategic plan of 2019-2025 which focuses on the strategies that can be used to eliminate cholera, hence, the Government is committed to eliminate cholera in the country by the year 2025 in accordance with the global vision of eliminating the disease by the year 2030.