WHO Zambia releases USD285,000 to support Cholera Response in Eastern Province
28 February 2023
WHO Zambia is working with National, Provincial and District partners to tackle the cholera outbreak that has spread across Vubwi, Chipata, Chipangali and Lusangazi districts of Eastern Province
Lusaka, 28 February 2023 – The World Health Organization (WHO) in Zambia has released USD285,000 to support the ongoing response to the cholera outbreak in Eastern Province. Since the outbreak was announced by the Minister of Health on January 26, 2023, a total of 191 suspected cases of cholera, including 4 deaths have been reported.
As part of the outbreak response, WHO Zambia is working with the Ministry of Health at National, Provincial and District levels, including the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) to rapidly put in in place interventions that will protect people and limit the spread of the outbreak to other districts across the province.
“Cholera outbreaks are of great concern to us, and especially that cholera is preventable, and Zambia has the right preventative tools in place. As WHO in Zambia we will continue to support the Ministry of Health in implementing immediate and long-term cholera control, response, and preventive measures. The funds released will help ensure that lives continue to be saved, and a resilient health system is maintained during and beyond the current outbreak," says Dr Nathan Bakyaita, WHO Representative in Zambia.
The funds released will allow WHO Zambia and partners to scale up priority response activities to effectively monitor and control the outbreak by:
- scaling up WHO and national surveillance interventions,
- providing essential support to laboratories to enhance diagnosis,
- providing technical assistance to set up adequate cholera treatment centers,
- training national and district health staff in case definition and management
- pre-positioning cholera kits and supplies in high-risk areas
- conducting health education sessions and risk communication and community engagement activities
“Eastern Province is uniquely positioned as some of the affected districts border Malawi and Mozambique, which too, have Cholera outbreaks, putting the whole province at high risk. For us to ensure we control and end the outbreak, we need to ensure that integrated critical tools of preparedness, response and prevention are in place. We need to enhance surveillance, care delivery and strengthen coordination and joint response at all levels,” added Dr Bakyaita.
Since the declaration of a cholera outbreak in January 2023, WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to support deployment of surge staff and provide logistical support in the affected districts.
Note to editor:
- WHO Zambia in December 2022, donated Cholera Central Reference kits; cholera peripheral kits; cholera community kits; 400 cholera laboratory kits; 500 cholera investigative kits amounting to ZMW 921,545 to support the preparedness and response in hotspot areas.
- The WHO Zambia team is working with the Ministry of Health and partners to strengthen disease surveillance, provide technical assistance in all the pillars of outbreak response including case management, monitoring of water quality and chlorination of public water supplies, and promote health education and hygiene among affected and at-risk communities.
For additional information or to request interviews please contact:
Ms Kafusha Kapema