Eastern Province reports 85 suspected cholera cases, govt moves to contain disease


Eastern Province has reported 85 suspected cholera cases since May 29, 2024, authorities have revealed.

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, announced this development following a 32-day period with no cholera cases.

Out of the suspected cases, 35 have been confirmed by the laboratory at Chipata Central Hospital.

In a statement issued in Parliament on Thursday, Masebo responded to Pambashe Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela’s inquiry regarding government measures to prevent the spread of cholera.

The first cases were identified in Chipata on May 29, 2024, and since then, the outbreak has spread to five districts in the province.

“The number of cases in affected districts includes 62 in Chipata, four in Lumezi, two in Chadiza, six in Mambwe, and eleven in Chipangali,” Masebo detailed.

She noted that the cases in Chipata, Lumezi, and Mambwe were linked to meals and unsafe water consumption at the Saturday Market in Chipata.

The Chipangali cases were connected to the Mambwe case, while the two Chadiza cases were linked to Lusaka and Mozambique, respectively.

“Within the last 24 hours, four new cases were reported in Chipangali District. Fortunately, our skilled workforce has saved every life so far in this new outbreak,” she stated.

As of 18:00 on June 11, 2024, there were four patients admitted in Chipangali, while other districts had no patients under admission.

A total of 83 out of the 85 patients have been discharged.

“The district, with support from provincial and national level technical teams, has launched a multisectoral response strategy to actively and timely control the outbreak as quickly as possible,” Masebo said.

The response focuses on case management, providing and promoting the use of clean and safe water, and ensuring good sanitation. Teams are also promoting good hygiene practices at both household and community levels.

Read More: Cholera breaks out in Chipata district, 21 cases recorded

“The Saturday Market has been closed for thorough cleaning and inspection, as we continue to conduct active surveillance to identify affected individuals,” she added.

Masebo highlighted that the country has 2 million doses of the Oral Cholera Vaccine donated by the International Coordinating Group (ICG) from previous outbreaks.

Chipata district has received approval for 345,000 doses and was set to initiate the vaccination campaign.

“We are expediting the training of district teams to ensure the swift deployment and administration of vaccines within the coming days,” she stated.

The team from the Extended Program for Immunization is already in the district to ensure due diligence is completed.

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