The Zambian Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has reiterated the government’s commitment to ending the on-going cholera outbreak which has affected all the six sub-districts in the capital of Lusaka through a multi-sectoral response. Since the outbreak was declared on 6th October 2017, it has affected more than 2750 people with more than 50 deaths. In addition to the various interventions which have been put in place to address the drivers of the cholera epidemic, the World Health Organization working with other partners is providing support to the Ministry of Health in conducting a cholera vaccination campaign targeting a total of two million people in the high risk areas. WHO has facilitated the shipment of the needed 4 million doses of vaccine which has been made possible through support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). Half of the shipment has been delivered and is being used for the first round of the immunization campaign which commenced on 10 January 2018 while the rest is expected in February at the time when the second dose will be given.
Speaking at the official launch of the oral cholera vaccination campaign in Kanyama, which is one of the worst hit sub-districts, the minister of health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said that there was a downward trend in the number of cases and that he was confident the trend would continue as a result of the multi-sectoral approach that had been put in place. The minister appreciated all the stakeholders who had contributed to the fight against cholera. He emphasized the fact that the cholera vaccination was an important intervention which also provided government the opportunity to put in place interventions to address the risk factors through provision of safe water and sanitation and waste management services in the communities.
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