Tuesday, March 5, 2024

New Regulations Unveiled in Light Of Cholera Outbreak

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In a press statement issued yesterday, the Minister of Health, Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo, provided a comprehensive update on the current cholera situation in Zambia, emphasizing the government’s robust response to the outbreak that has affected numerous communities.

Over the past 24 hours, Zambia recorded 431 new cholera cases across six provinces. Lusaka Province remains the most affected, contributing 381 of the new cases. The total number of patients admitted across the country has risen to 859, with a slight increase from the previous day. Regrettably, 11 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, with nine in Lusaka Province and two in Central Province.

At the Hero’s Stadium cholera treatment center in Lusaka, there are currently 576 patients, including 247 males, 136 females, and 193 children. Despite the challenges, the center made 130 discharges within the last 24 hours while losing three adult patients, including one with severe COVID pneumonia and cholera, who was transferred to Levy Treatment Center.

Minister Masebo also revealed that Zambia has collaborated with international partners WHO and UNICEF to secure cholera vaccines to augment ongoing control measures. Approximately 1.6 million doses are expected to arrive in the country in several batches, with an official handover scheduled for Monday, January 15, 2024. The community vaccination efforts will initially focus on hot spots in Lusaka Province, targeting individuals aged one year and above in selected communities.

Minister Masebo said the earlier SI number 79 of 2017 measures were introduced that allowed public health professionals to dispose of the body of a person who died from cholera in conformity with public health regulations. Other measures that are invoked with SI 79 include:

1. Prohibition of funeral gatherings of more than 5 people, if the person being buried from had died of cholera
2. A person who becomes aware or has reason to suspect that another person has died or is suffering from cholera shall immediately inform the nearest authorized officer in a local authority or public health facility
3. Authorized officers may enter any premises to search for a case of cholera or to enquire if there is a case of cholera
4. Authorized officers may prohibit or restrict trading in or vending of food in unsanitary conditions – leading to the closure of premises that do not comply with hygienic practices
5. Authorized officers may order the cleaning or closure of the public premises or burial of any contaminated water body such as the shallow wells that the officer determines that a public premise does not have sufficient sanitation and hygiene to prevent the occurrence or transmission of cholera.

To further address the cholera outbreak, the Public Health (Infected Areas) (Cholera) (Amendment) Regulations for 2024 have been introduced. Among the provisions, the amendment prohibits the entry of bedsides into cholera treatment centers and enhances measures for the safe burial of cholera suspects. Additionally, stringent measures for public health messaging at religious gatherings have been introduced, requiring documentation of the messaging provided.

Minister Masebo urged citizens to adhere to the outlined regulations, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in combating the outbreak. The government remains dedicated to mitigating the impact of cholera, safeguarding public health, and ensuring a healthier Zambia.

The press statement concluded with gratitude for the media’s attention and a call for everyone to play their part in contributing to a healthier nation.

28 COMMENTS

    • They’re doing firefighting so as to justify the vaccines they’re going to procure. They can never do prevention, they want more of you to be infected.

      If I were you I wouldn’t trust the water coming from my local water utility company. Kaide’s mob what better & faster way to get rich in 2 years reaming apartment from cholera vaccines procurement. Criminality if the worst kind. With genuine business it’s tough to raise K26 Billion in 2 years time remaining it takes Trade King decades to raise such amounts of money haha

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    • Medicines will put out the fire. Briefly. The permanent solution is to fund and revamp Lusaka Water. Water and sewage pipes need repair Pit latrines should be abolished. Boreholes should be sparse. Local government should ensure all settlements are planned.
      “Lusaka Province remains the most affected” Yes because it is the city with the most unplanned settlements or shanties in Zambia. Cholera needs a government emergency plan not a Ministry of Health plan not a Ministry of Local government plan

  1. Prevention measures which includes keeping our surroundings clean and proper sanitation throughout Lusaka…no throwing litter everywhere and let the Government build sanitary public toilets in bus stations and markets
    Garbage collection should also improve……

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  2. A number of things must be done to correct the situation;
    1..preventive measures be put ìn plave like linking all house holds to Lusaka Water. All house holds to contribute through a connect charge
    2. Crisis management be left to technocrats
    3. Health workers be retrained in case management
    4. Response management be reengineered

    • It’s criminality of the worst kind to steal from the Govt Treasury under the disguise of Cholera vaccines. At least others were just inflating the the costs of road projects & sparing the lives of Zambians. At least we’re still benefiting still now from the road overpriced roads & the Sausage Airport unlike theiving through cholera, the worst kind of criminality. Not only stealing & putting in swiss accounts but on too of that killing. Hmmm

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  3. Once we start keeping our surroundings clean then we will get rid of chorela….drainage system is full of litter…Soweto Market is filthy with no sanitation…people just poop in plastic bags and throw feces all over town and when the rain comes the whole city is flooded with fecal water….and its 60 years after independence

  4. The things outlined here are well known by authorities. Like in the USA, the Obama administration left what is called a playbook for tackling pandemics but the Trump group threw it through the window and here in Zambia Chitalu Chilufya had worked out a plan of cholera prevention but as expected Silvia had her own things to do.
    In Kitwe it’s business as usual. Councils have enough manpower to tackle the problem.

    • In Africa noone wants to learn from anyone, they will even say the previous regime blocked the sewer system after losing the election that’s why we have cholera today.
      Totally agree with you, Chitalu Chilufya did a great job, that’s his profession. We will do well to learn from what has worked in the past.

  5. The Lusaka City council and the Town planner s/Engineers should come up with modern way of running drainage system not those old open drainage…they need to be covered….and also we need alot of private garbage collection companies…not only when there’s chorela thats when the Presidents puts on gloves and goes for photo op pretending like he is cleaning…Denmark is clean just like Sweeden….zero litter

    • These drains must be maintained through out the year. Those throwing rubbish in the drains must be arrested… not ati pantu ni ba Shi Rose my neighbor I can’t report him etc. I say that there’s no supervision in our councils…
      Just imagine a council police officer starts drinking in the morning while on duty from inside a bar which is supposed to open at 14hours. How do you expect such a person to work. These things are happening because of nepotism and familiarity.

    • Imagine! “Denmark is clean…” And the Danish President never goes into the streets to clean up garbage? They must be geniuses these Danes and Swedes

  6. After failing to contain simple cholera, they have now run out of solutions and are calling for national prayers. Remember how they shunned national prayers while in opposition. Dem0nlc party

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    • Prayers without deeds are nothing. God does not allow laziness or dirt. You can’t pray and expect your house to be cleaned by some invisible hands.

    • African governments believe in miracles. They just cant believe in themselves. Why do you think HH flew all the way to Israel to wail over a wall of other people’s ancestors?

  7. Now you can imagine the big city New York how they run drainage and sewer system and this was done almost 200 years ago and they keep on upgrading and improving and servicing Drainage and sewer system and its all underground…and in Zambia 2024 and we still have those ugly looking open drainage like we don’t have Engineers

  8. Zambians should be ruthless with these politicians to make sure they don’t abuse our kindness in the future. They take the people for granted and will do anything to connive with international criminals to destroy our way of life. They should be ashamed of themselves. The head of DMMU should be fired.

  9. The single most primary preventive measure of cholera is to stop faecal matter from contaminating water sources, all these other measures including vaccinations are secondary.
    Let’s getting working and prioritise provision of safe water in vulnerable communities.

    • Why are we not producing our own vaccines? we warned about cholera before the rain season and how our government prefare to dig trenches instead of building proper drainage systems. Hygiene standards have dropped even in the presence of COVID.

  10. DMMU is useless …the only thing they do is photo op always pretending like they’re working but in actual sense they’re just fooling around and pocketing all the money….I know DMMU very well and they deal with cash …even just a simple driver or cleaner working for DMMU goes home with cash everyday

  11. In 2011 Masebo lost the Chongwe election to Mwakalombe. Michael Sata prevailed on the Chief to convince Mwakalombe to give up the seat which Masebo won hands down. I don’t know what presidents see in this lady. Visiting cholera centers is not a solution, the solution was lost when her government decided to play the situation down.

  12. Lusaka is congested! It is about time the New Lusaka City was planned and constructed with proper town planning in mind. We can not go on year after year like this. If you put the cholera issue aside, traffic in Lusaka is too much. All govt departments and important services can be transferred to the new city and a fast train can connect the old and the new. There is a limitation of how a city can grow organically without town planning principles. The cost of a smart city is in the range K40-80 billion

  13. Sylvia Masebo must go. She has completely failed. These measures should have kicked in at the first reported case including importing a batch of vaccines to contain the outbreak. Again, limit movement to stop the disease being exported to other districts. I’ve just come from Kasumbalesa. The place is filthy. That could be the nxt outbreak

  14. Stop blaming the government and Ms Masebo. Too many Zambians are just nasty, filthy, unclean and unhygienic. People have to take responsibility for their own hygiene and health.
    Cholera is avoidable

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