As schools in Zambia prepare to resume classes on February 12th, 2024, the government has issued a directive urging all educational institutions, parents, and guardians to prioritize creating conducive learning environments, especially in light of ongoing concerns surrounding cholera.
Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo emphasized the importance of ensuring that schools are safe spaces for learning, encouraging administrators to take necessary measures to prevent the spread of cholera within their premises. Additionally, she called upon parents and guardians to actively support their children by reinforcing anti-cholera guidelines, such as avoiding untreated water and refraining from sharing food at school.
While acknowledging a decline in new cholera cases, Minister Masebo cautioned against complacency, noting that continued vigilance is crucial to completely eradicating the disease. Speaking during the Daily Cholera update briefing in Lusaka, she underscored the significance of maintaining good hygiene practices to sustain the positive trend in reducing cholera cases nationwide.
The latest update revealed a decrease in new cholera cases, with 145 cases reported within the last 24 hours compared to the previous day’s tally of 163 cases. However, Minister Masebo stressed the need for sustained efforts to combat the disease effectively.
The recorded new cases were predominantly from provinces such as Lusaka, Central, Southern, Eastern, and Copperbelt, with minimal reports from other regions. Sadly, two lives were lost during the same period, highlighting the continued severity of the situation. Among the casualties was an 8-month-old baby in Lusaka and a community death in Southern Province.
Despite the challenges, there have been positive developments, with 154 individuals recovering and discharged from treatment centers, bringing the total number of recoveries to 17,550 since the onset of the outbreak. Presently, 210 patients are receiving treatment across various Cholera Treatment Centers, with Heroes Center accommodating 45 cases.
Minister Masebo reiterated the importance of collective action and adherence to preventive measures to safeguard public health and ensure the well-being of all citizens, especially as schools reopen.