Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-The permanent secretary in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, yesterday said there are so far no Namibians affected by the cholera outbreak in Zambia. Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea and can lead to dehydration or even death, if untreated. Eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholera causes the disease. There are about 200 Namibians studying in Zambia and the majority are based in Lusaka, Ashipala-Musavyi told New Era. There are also a number of Namibian business people and tourists in Zambia. As a measure to contain the disease, the Namibian High Commission in Zambia has put in place measures to minimise the impact “which is the minimum we can do,” Ashipala-Musavyi emphasised. People visiting the High Commission and those working there have to wash their hands and use sanitizers to minimise the impact, she explained. Last Saturday the Zambian minister of health, Chitalu Chilufya, declared an outbreak of cholera in the capital, Lusaka. Yesterday, Zambian journalist, Alexander Musokotwane, who works for MUVI Television, told New Era that the situation “is almost declared a national disaster” but the authorities do not want to admit it. By yesterday, there were more than 2,000 cases of people with cholera, the majority being in Lusaka and the Copper Belt, added Musokotwane. In addition, 65 people have died of Cholera so far, he added. “More than five people cannot congregate in a public area. So far, all local markets have remained closed because of the situation. By last Sunday, churches were not allowed to congregate,” the Zambian journalist said. Furthermore, there are cleaning materials such as sanitizers in public places, as a measure to minimise the impact, explained Musokotwane. “Schools were supposed to open on Monday (8 January 2018) but they have not been opened and that has now been delayed by at least two weeks,” he noted. “The Government has deployed security wings to ensure that they clean most of the areas that are prone to cholera.” Meanwhile, the Lusaka Times reported yesterday that the Zambian Government had officially flagged off the oral cholera vaccine in Lusaka’s Kanyama compound and other cholera prone areas. Government, through the United Nations, targets to immunize 2,000 people with cholera vaccine, especially in the affected areas. Speaking during the flag off, Chilufya (The Zambian health minister) said that people should not misunderstand the vaccination process as a gathering that will promote transmission, but a gathering to sensitise people and receive the cholera vaccine.
2018-01-12 09:22:24 8 months ago