Hundreds killed as deadly Cholera outbreak grips Zambia

Hundreds killed as deadly Cholera outbreak grips Zambia
A Zambian health worker attending to patients. Courtesy photo.

Zambia grapples with one of its most severe cholera outbreaks in decades, reporting 351 fatalities and nearly 9,000 active cases. Health authorities are working tirelessly to curb the crisis, fearing it could become the worst since the country's inaugural outbreak in 1977.

Distressed relatives anxiously await updates on their loved ones. One family member lamented, "They are announcing names here, but (inaudible) my nephew. So I don't know what is going on. Whether my nephew is dead, I don't know. Whether he is alive, I don't know."

President Hakainde Hichilema has called on urban residents to relocate to villages, emphasizing the link between poor sanitation in densely populated areas and cholera's rapid spread.

Strict measures remain in place, including the prohibition of funerals and family burials. Sylvia Masebo, the Zambian Health Minister, reinforced these restrictions, stating, "I've told them that they cannot participate in burials, and I also told them that they cannot have funerals at their homes. I also told the general public not to attend funerals anymore."

Cholera, primarily transmitted through contaminated food and water, raises concerns about sanitation in crowded urban areas. Experts point to climate change, attributing heavy rainfall to the contamination of drinking water in impoverished communities.

As Zambia battles the cholera outbreak, emergency rules are being enacted to curb further transmission. Meanwhile, the nation awaits relief as health authorities intensify efforts to contain the disease’s devastating.



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