More cholera cases have been reported in Lusaka with the Ministry of Health placing the city on high alert. The cholera cases have now risen to 11 from nine. The initial cholera cases recorded in Chipata, Mazyopa, Kabanana and SOS Village stood at nine, according to the Ministry of Health as at Saturday. A check at Chipata Level One Hospital and Mazyopa Township yesterday by Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya, his Permanent Secretary for administration, Kennedy Malama, among other officials indicated that the number of cases had gone up by two thereby prompting enhanced measures across the province.
“Lusaka is on cholera alert, we have a confirmed outbreak of cholera in a localised area in Chipata compound, Mazyopa area zone two, so far we have 11 cases that have been attended to and we have six discharged, five are under treatment and they are stable, there are no deaths. “We have two cases confirmed of vibrio cholera in our UTH laboratory and for now we can confirm the outbreak cholera in a localised area in Lusaka, but we are putting the whole Lusaka on cholera alert. What does this mean? It means that the index of suspicion has gone up,” Dr Chilufya said. Dr Chilufya said water sampling would be intensified in Lusaka Province including enhancing health education and sensitisation of the public and that the ministry had partnered with the World Health Organisation, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company and Lusaka City Council (LWSC). Dr Chilufya said the response to the cholera-hit areas had been a multi-sectoral one and the National Public Health Institute had already triggered the response and that the institution, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, was leading the response measures. Dr Chilufya said a cholera screening centre, which he visited, had been set up at Chipata Level One Hospital and that it was where the investigation and stabilisation of the suspects was being done and then moving them to a set up cholera centre. He assured that the centre had adequate logistics and that investigations by sampling water from the sources in the affected communities indicated that water was contaminated and thus prompting the distribution of household chlorine and disinfecting pit latrines. As at yesterday, about 135 pit latrines had been disinfected, 262 bottles of household chlorine distributed and over 2,200 people sensitised with key health messages on avoiding contracting cholera and preventing its spread. And after visiting one of the affected families and inspecting one of the three boreholes in Mazyopa Township, Dr Chilufya told journalists that investigations by public health specialists revealed that the water from the boreholes was contaminated with coliform (bacteria). Dr Chilufya said the three boreholes sunk with Constituency Development Funds would be closed and replaced with water bowsers from the LWSC and that the arrangement would continue until a sustainable solution was found.