Cholera remains a global public health threat
By Bilke Mulenga |
Communication and External Relations
Department of Health Promotion, Environment and Social Determinants
REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA | Ministry of Health – HQ
Haile Selassie Road, Longacres | Box 30205 | Lusaka- Zambia
Phone No.: +260 955 684929 / 0975 658330
April 14, 2022
WORLDOVER cholera still remains a public health threat and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development of some communities in many countries.
Scientists describe this diarrheal disease as an acute infection which is caused by ingestion (eating) of food or contaminated water with the bacterium called vibrio cholerae.
Many scientific researchers have estimated that each year there are at least between 1.3 to 4.0 million cholera cases being recorded globally.
Further reports highlight that out of those of cholera cases, deaths come to 21 000 to 143 000 people worldwide.
Zambia is not spared from cholera and records show that, the first case of cholera in Zambia was recorded in 1977 in today’s Mpulunga district, by then it was under Mabala district in Northern Province.
According to the reports obtained from the Ministry of Health and the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) Zambia has had no case of cholera for many years.
The cholera broke-out in Zambia, due to the people who were using a water vessel on Lake Tanganyika popularly known as SS Liamba as it was transporting traders from Burunda, the Republic Democratic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania, they used to help themselves in containers which were being emptied on the Zambian waters and in some cases on the seashore of Mpulungu once the ship docked.
The waste cholera episode Zambia has ever recorded is the one which began in Lusaka from October 2017 up to somewhere in February 2018. This result from this cholera shows that the cases which were recorded were approximately 5,900 cases and claimed 114 people.
Health workers explain that to control the outbreaks of cholera cases, oral cholera vaccine is extremely cardinal and effective.
It is diarrhea (Stool appears pale and milky), Fatigue and weakness, nausea and vomiting, Dehydration electrolyte Imbalance, low blood pressure, loose skin and dry mouth, rapid heart-beat and weight loss.
The common modes of cholera transmission people must be aware of and avoid.
Cholera can be caused by ingestion of contaminated food and drink, raw or uncooked food including meat and fish, unhygienic sanitary conditions, avoid food stuffs sold in the streets and do not eat raw or half cooked meats, don’t drink untreated water and maintain good sanitations.