Cholera has broken out in Mpulungu District in Northern Province.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba has disclosed that Mpulungu Hospital received its first case on Sunday 12th August 2012.
He has stated that the hospital has since treated 52 suspected cases of cholera and recorded one (1) death.
Mr. Mwamba has stated that the hospital now has seven (7) patients admitted in Mpulungu District Hospital.
The villages that have been affected mostly from lakeshore villages such as Kasasa, Tonga, Mupata, Sondwa and Posa villages although nearly every village has since recorded a suspected case of cholera.
Mr. Mwamba says government has since put up strong preventive measures to curb the outbreak.
He has stated that the medical team he dispatched last week is attributing the outbreak to last week’s sudden down pour of rains that the country experienced two weeks ago and seem to have triggered the cases.
He says that he had dispatched the Provincial Medical Officer (PMO), Dr. Jelita Chinyonga to Mpulungu to help coordinate prevention and treatment of the cholera cases.
the northern province permanent secretary says the team had however, also established unusual high cases of diarhoea diseases in the surrounding villages.
He says the team is undertaking medical tests to validate and distinguish the cholera cases from the normal diarhoea cases.
mr mwamba has disclosed that government has since banned any sorts of gatherings including funerals to comply with prevention regulations that helps stem the outbreak. He also directed the District Commissioner, Ms Juliana Chuzu to ensure that communities abided by the instructions.
The medical team is also training communities in identifying the cases, carrying out disinfections in affected homes and areas.
The team is also airing key messages on the local radio station and distributing chlorine on the lakeshore villages.
Mr. Mwamba has also directed Chambeshi Water Company to ensure that they restored water supply to Mpulungu townships following the breakdown of their service on Friday 17th August 2012.
He has feared that if water supply was not restored immediately, it would worsen or undermine the prevention mechanisms that the medical team have put in place and might escalate the outbreak.
Mpulungu lies on the shores of Africa’s deepest and largest fresh water lake, Lake Tanganyika. The town usually records cases of cholera during rainy seasons.
This is mostly due to unhygienic conditions and lack of latrines and toilets in fishing villages.