7 January 2013

Zambia: Mwense Cholera Under Control

THE cholera situation in Mwense District has been brought under control as the volunteer medical mission Doctors Without Borders (MSF) arrived in Luapula Province.

The group boosted the Zambian health authorities and supplied medical facilities at the weekend to contain the water-borne disease.

District Commissioner Victor Kasuba said about 25 patients were admitted to the cholera centre set up at Mulundu Basic School.

Mr Kasuba said there were no new cases and that with the help of the MSF team, villagers were being advised to stop drawing water from shallow wells and from Luapula River.

"We are carrying out measures to curb the disease completely; so we are telling the villagers to be hygienic, stop drawing water from shallow wells. We are actually burying all the shallow wells," he said.

He said the coming of the MSF team had greatly helped the situation because the District Health Management Team (DHMT) was now able to reach out to far-flung areas with the increase in personnel.

In Nchelenge District, six new cases were reported at the weekend with four admitted to St Paul's Mission Hospital, while two are at Chisenga island.

Nchelenge District Commissioner Joseph Chisakula confirmed the new cases but said the situation was well under control.

Mr Chisakula said four of the six admitted to St Paul's Mission Hospital are expected to be discharged today and cautioned people to avoid practices that made them vulnerable to cholera and other water-borne diseases.

"I am appealing to the people to make it a habit to add chlorine to their water before drinking it and also to draw water from boreholes not from the contaminated shallow wells," he said.

So far, two people have died of cholera in Nchelenge and one in Mwense.

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