The Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, has confirmed that five people lost their lives to cholera in the last 24 hours as the outbreak continues to escalate, affecting a total of 12 districts across the country.
During a press briefing in Lusaka on Thursday morning, Minister Masebo disclosed that since the beginning of the year, there have been 2,473 reported cases of cholera, resulting in 74 fatalities. Currently, 207 patients are admitted to various Cholera Treatment Centers nationwide.
The affected towns include Kapiri Mposhi, Kabwe, Petauke, Vubwi, Chadiza in Eastern Province, and Mumbwa, Chibombo, and Mpulungu, among others.
Minister Masebo urged citizens to prioritize preventive measures, emphasizing the “3 C’s to kick out Cholera”: Clean Water, Clean Hands, and Early Care. She emphasized the importance of drinking clean water, practicing proper hand hygiene, and seeking early treatment to control the spread of cholera.
Health Minister Masebo provided an update on the latest cases, revealing that 111 new cholera cases were recorded in the last 24 hours. She expressed concern about the geographical spread of cholera, with cases now reported in Eastern, Central, and Northern Provinces.
In response to the escalating crisis, the government has imposed a ban on street vending. Local Government and Rural Development Minister Gary Nkombo enforced Statutory Instrument number 18 of 2018, criminalizing the buying and selling of goods on the streets. Minister Nkombo highlighted the need for bars, bus stops, churches, sporting facilities, and other public places to maintain high hygiene standards.
Water Development and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha outlined government initiatives to address water and sanitation challenges. The government has placed water tanks in underserviced areas to provide water, and plans are in place to empty 20,000 pit latrines in Lusaka.
The three ministers delivered their statements during an Inter-Ministerial Briefing on Cholera in Lusaka, underscoring the urgency and coordinated efforts needed to combat the outbreak.