After months of concerted efforts by health workers and various stakeholders, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has officially declared an end to the cholera outbreak in four districts.
In a press statement, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo confirmed that the cholera outbreak in Mwansabombwe district of Luapula Province, as well as in Chipangali, Lusangazi, and Vubwi districts of Eastern Province, had been successfully contained. She commended the efforts of healthcare workers, community volunteers, and local leaders who worked tirelessly to bring the outbreak under control.
“The end of the cholera outbreak in these districts is a result of the concerted efforts of various stakeholders. We commend the health workers who worked tirelessly to treat and prevent the spread of the disease. We also appreciate the support of local leaders and community volunteers who worked with us to ensure that the necessary preventive measures were implemented,” Masebo said.
The minister also noted that the MoH had put in place various measures to prevent a resurgence of the disease, including continued surveillance, water quality monitoring, and hygiene promotion campaigns in affected areas.
In addition to the cholera announcement, Masebo also revealed that all provinces across the country had attained over 70 percent of full Covid-19 vaccination. She urged Zambians who had not yet been vaccinated to do so, stressing that vaccination was critical in the fight against the pandemic.
“The attainment of the 70 percent vaccination target is a significant milestone in our fight against Covid-19. However, we must not become complacent. We urge all eligible individuals who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. Vaccination is critical in protecting ourselves and our communities from the virus,” Masebo said.
Zambia has recorded over 190,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 4,000 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. The country has been rolling out its vaccination program since March 2021, with the aim of vaccinating at least 60 percent of the eligible population by the end of 2022.
The announcement by the MoH comes as a relief to many Zambians who have been grappling with the dual challenges of cholera and Covid-19. The cholera outbreak had threatened to overwhelm the already fragile healthcare system, with hospitals and clinics struggling to cope with the high number of cases. The pandemic, on the other hand, had strained the country’s economy, resulting in job losses and reduced access to essential services.
As the country moves forward, the MoH has called for continued vigilance and adherence to preventive measures to avoid a resurgence of both cholera and Covid-19. The ministry has emphasized the importance of hand hygiene, safe water, and sanitation practices, and urged Zambians to seek medical attention early if they experience any symptoms of either disease.
The end of the cholera outbreak in four districts is a significant achievement for Zambia’s healthcare system. The success is a result of the collaborative efforts of healthcare workers, community volunteers, and local leaders, and is a testament to what can be achieved through collective action. With continued efforts and vigilance, Zambia can continue to make progress in the fight against both cholera and Covid-19.
The MoH has also reiterated its commitment to strengthening the country’s healthcare system to better prepare for future disease outbreaks. This includes improving the capacity of healthcare facilities, enhancing surveillance and monitoring systems, and investing in research and development of new treatments and vaccines. The ministry has called for increased funding for healthcare and urged the private sector to play a more active role in supporting healthcare initiatives. As the country continues to battle both cholera and Covid-19, the MoH has urged all stakeholders to work together towards the common goal of improving health outcomes for all Zambians.