Cholera outbreak claims over 50 lives

​(File photo): Cholera patients
The National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka in Zambia has been turned into a Cholera management centre to cater for the increasing number of new cholera cases being recorded in Lusaka, amid reports Tanzania has closed its borders for Zambians intending to enter the country.
Health minister Chitalu Chilufya has stated that the move is also aimed at centralising intervention measures in Lusaka, with the epidemic having claimed over 50 lives so far. The outbreak started in October last year and is not showing signs of abating.
He said the existing cholera centres will remain operational but will only attend to paediatric patients.The number of new cases has continued to increase with about 156 new cholera cases having been recorded.
Meanwhile, a joint operation was last week mounted by the Zambian armed forces to evacuate first year students from the University of Zambia (UNZA) following the internationally embarrassing cholera crisis.
UNZA sources said it was unprecedented in the institution's history for the military to evacuate students in that manner.
"The government is clearly not telling the country the truth about this cholera crisis. The number of people that have died should be a little more than they are telling us if the military can mount such an operation" said the source.
Schools, which were scheduled to open soon, have been reportedly ordered to delay commencement of the 2018 calendar.
Edgar Lungu has ordered the ministry of health to reject any material support from the UPND meant to help fight the ravaging cholera outbreak.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema announced that his party resolved to join efforts with the government by contributing materially to the epidemic.
"We have put in place a team that will be working in consultation with government health authorities that are combating this cholera outbreak.
"As a party, we have decided to commit ourselves to providing material support in fighting this outbreak which has so far claimed over 50 lives.
Further to our discussions with health authorities yesterday, we are waiting to hear from them on what we must make readily available to urgently support life. A team has been put together for this purpose," HH said.
Information has it that Lungu is unhappy with the UPND for this humanitarian gesture.
Health ministry officials have indicated that among the outlets that tested positive of the bacteria include Debonairs at Levy Business Park, Woodlands Pick n Pay, Mika Hotel, Pizza Hut and a bakery in Matero.
Several markets across Lusaka remain closed and residents are running out of food supplies as there are no alternative markets following the closures. INTERNATIONAL

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