8 January 2013

Zambia: 'Clean Up Your Homes to Avoid Cholera'

FOLLOWING the recent outbreak of Cholera in Mwense and Nchelenge districts of Luapula Province, residents have been urged to keep their homes tidy and minimise unnecessary gatherings in an effort to reduce further escalation of the disease in their respective communities.

Mwense and Nchelenge district commissioners DCs Victor Kasuba and Joseph Chisakula, respectively made their call in separate interviews during the week.

Mr Kasuba (for Mwense District) said people needed to keep their homes neat to avoid the increase of the water-borne diseases in their communities.

He said Cholera was one of the diseases that were easy to avoid if only people had adhered to the medical standards of keeping good sanitations in their communities.

Mr Kasuba said while the Government, through the Ministry of Health, was making everything possible to avert further spread of the disease through supplying necessary medical supplies, residents had also an obligation of ensuring that they contributed positively in curbing the situation through keeping their homes extremely neat.

The DC observed that some people in some communities had the tendency of not adhering to medical standards of observing maximum cleanliness in their homes and also to boil water before they drink or to chlorinate it.

Mr Kasuba told Health Times in an interview at the weekend that when the Cholera case was on its peak during last week, he had engaged all community leaders ranging from traditional leaders, village headmen and the Zambia News and Information Services ZANIS to go out in the communities and tell people on how they could help to avoid the outbreak of the water-borne disease among themselves.

"I am so saddened by Cholera had engulfed our communities in which we lost our people and its for this reason that I have engaged all the stakeholders from the Government officials and traditional leaders to go on the ground and sensitise our people on how they can keep their homes neat to avoid the further outbreak of the disease.

"I tell you, last week, I never sat in my office. I had to go out and visit the cholera centre which was at Mulundu and again to go in their communities with ZANIS mobile van of course with personnel from health department to sensitise our people," he said.

The other thing that Mr Kasuba emphasised was to avoid unnecessary gatherings and going across the Luapula River into Kasenga District in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC as that was where the disease was suspected to have come from.

He said people needed only to be in small groups that could not fun the outbreak of the disease. He, however, said the move did not mean that worship gatherings should be abandoned, but advised that the worshippers should disperse immediately after the meeting.

And Mr Chisakula echoed similar sentiments, saying that if people were not keeping their homes tidy and did not boil water before they drink it, there is potential of contracting cholera, especially this period of the year when flies were in large numbers in many places.

He warned that cholera was a fatal disease, therefore, people ensure that it did not breakout in their communities.

The DC said his office and the staff from the District Health Management Team DHMT were on alert and were doing everything possible to ensure that no further cholera cases would be recorded in the district.

Mr Chisakula also said stakeholders in the district were also at hand to ensure that they worked together to curb the disease.

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