Zambia: One Person Dies As Cholera Hits Mwense

ONE person has died while 37 have been admitted to a cholera centre in Mwense after the waterborne disease broke out in the rural district of Luapula Province.

Enock Kunda, 17, died on Tuesday night at Mambilima Mission Hospital where 36 patients were admitted.

Mwense District Commissioner (DC) Victor Kasuba confirmed the death of Kunda, who had come from Lundumuna village in Chief Mulundu's area.

Mr Kasuba said 35 patients had been moved from the mission hospital to Mulundu Basic School where a cholera centre was set up.

Two other patients were admitted to Chibondo Health Centre.

He said the first cases were reported on Sunday and the following day, samples were sent to Mansa General Hospital.

Mr Kasuba said the results of the samples came out positive and appealed to residents in Mwense and other areas to avoid movements near the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border, particularly Kasenga area, where the disease was suspected to have spread from.

He said there were confirmed cases of cholera in Kasenga district in the DRC.

Mr Kasuba said the other place reported to have had cholera cases recently was Nchelenge district and as such, there was a likelihood that the waterborne disease could have spread to Mwense due to movement of people.

"Confirmed cholera cases have been recorded. Initially, seven people were admitted to Mambilima Mission Hospital, but the number rose to 36 and one patient died on Tuesday night," he said.

Mr Kasuba said he had since directed the Immigration Department and Zambia Police Service to stop the movement of people from Kasenga District in the DRC into Zambia.

"The ministry of health has already started major interventions. As I am talking, the ministry has put in place enough facilities and drugs.

"Our people should not panic but should at all costs avoid unnecessary gatherings and movements," he said.

In Mpulungu, seven people have been admitted to a local hospital for suspected cholera, NORMA SIAME reports.

Sources said the suspected waterborne disease broke out last week.

When contacted, Mpulungu District Commissioner Julian Chuzu, however, denied the report, saying the cases were ordinary diarrhoeal cases.

"It is not confirmed that cholera has broken out; what was recorded was diarrhoea and until we have test results I cannot confirm we have cholera," she said.

Mpulungu last year in July recorded more than 100 case of cholera and four deaths when the disease broke out in villages around Lake Tanganyika.

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