Zambia’s cholera death toll rising

Lusaka – The death toll of a cholera epidemic in Zambia has risen to 70, with more than 600 patients treated since the outbreak started two months ago, a government spokesperson said Thursday.

The highest number of patients was in Kabwe, 200 kilometres north of Lusaka, where water supply is erratic. The death toll in Kabwe had reached 50, said Ben Chirwa of the Central Board of Health.

He said cholera cases in most towns had stabilized, except for Kabwe, where the epidemic was worsening with an average of 40 patients being admitted to health centres every day.

Authorities have closed all learning institutions and most public institutions in Kabwe until the disease is contained.

Chirwa said a ban restricting the attending of funerals and other public gatherings in the affected areas would remain in force until further notice.

To combat the spread of cholera in the affected areas across the country, the government last month released funds to unblock the main sewer system Kabwe and to purify drinking water.

More than 100 houses in Kabwe’s high-density residential areas were submerged in sewer and garbage, Chirwa said. – Sapa-DPA – IOL

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