Zambia bans church services as it battles deadly cholera epidemic

Zambia bans church services as it battles deadly cholera epidemic”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said it's supporting Zambia in launching a vaccination campaign in the African country to help one million people against cholera.

Police in Zambia clashed on Friday with residents in the capital Lusaka protesting an official ban on street commerce in a poor suburb meant to tackle a deadly cholera outbreak.

The government has also announced that vaccines will be available for administration, with 2 million doses of the vaccine donated by the U.N. Children's Fund.

"The US is providing a wide range of assistance to Zambia through USAID and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)", USAID Zambia health office director Melanie Martins said.

Cholera causes acute watery diarrhea.

Since the start of the current outbreak in Zambia from early October 2017, the country's health authority has reported a total of 2,672 cases, with Lusaka alone accounting for 2,558 cases.

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Lusaka District health director Naamani Moonze said the equipment, which had been assembled and was being used, was helping in improving diagnosis and monitoring of patients, thereby reducing cholera-induced deaths.

While sporadic cases of cholera are regular occurrences in Zambia during the five-month rainy season, the number of cases this year has exceeded the average annual caseload.

The religious leaders urge political leaders to stop insulting each other or anyone who does not agree with their political opinion: "These leaders of political parties must restrain themselves and their members from making inflammatory or irresponsible statements".

As of January 9, an estimated 2,802 people throughout the country have been infected by cholera, including 66 people who have died from the disease.

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