CHOLERA has broken out in Mpulungu District in Northern Province leaving one person dead and several hospitalised.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba who confirmed the outbreak of the waterborne disease said Mpulungu District Hospital received its first case a week ago.
Since the first case was recorded, the hospital has treated 52 cases of cholera seven of whom are still admitted and receiving treatment.
“Villages most affected on the shores of Lake Tanganyika are Kasasa, Tonga, Mupata, Sondwa and Posa although nearly every village has since recorded a suspected case of cholera,” Mr Mwamba said.
A medical team dispatched by provincial administration attributed the outbreak to last week’s freak rain that the country experienced recently.
Provincial Medical Officer (PMO) Jelita Chinyonga has since rushed to Mpulungu to help coordinate prevention and treatment of the cholera cases.
Gatherings such as funerals have been banned in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
“The team has however, also established unusually high cases of diarrhoea diseases in the surrounding villages and is undertaking medical tests to validate and distinguish the cholera cases from the normal diarrheal one,” he said.
To enable affected communities comply with prevention, Mpulungu District Commissioner, Juliana Chuzu has been tasked to ensure communities abide by the ban on gatherings including funerals.
The medical team is also training communities in identifying the cases, carrying out disinfections in affected homes and areas.
The team is also airing key messages on the local radio station and distributing chlorine on the lakeshore villages.
Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company has been directed to ensure water supply is restored to Mpulungu townships.
The townships have experienced interruption of water supply at the weekend.
“If water supply is not restored immediately, it will worsen or undermine the prevention mechanisms that the medical team have put in place and might escalate the outbreak,” Mr Mwamba said.
Source Article from http://allafrica.com/stories/201208200333.html
Zambia: Cholera Breaks Out in Mpulungu
AllAfrica News: Water and Sanitation
All Africa, All the Time.