Zambia cholera crisis gets worse as churches cancel all services

Zambia’s cholera crisis which started in October 2017 continues to affect the lives of people in the southern African country.

Authorities have said the number of persons infected continues to rise – they put the figure at 2,451 as at Sunday January 7, 2018. A local news portal said of the 61 deaths nationwide, 58 were in the capital, Lusaka.

Another area affected by the crisis is places of worship. A number of churches announced cancellation of all services especially in Lusaka. The Reformed Church in Zambia and the Bread of Life Church International were two of such churches.

The education sector was the first to be hit as the 2018 school calendar was postponed in order to curtail the incidence of the disease spreading.

According to a joint statement by Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya and his education counterpart Dennis Wanchinga, the re-opening of schools countrywide has been deferred until further notice.

“We have had an outbreak of cholera from October 6, 2017 and it has affected mainly Lusaka Province and we have recorded sporadic cases in various parts of the country,” says Dr Chilufya.

President Edgar Lungu had tasked the army to move in to arrest the situation. He said the Zambia Defence Forces were to work with relevant ministries and agencies in the cholera combat. The spread has since been steadily rising.

“I have directed all the three wings of the Defence Force to join the Ministry of Health and the city fathers, Lusaka City Council to escalate efforts to minimise the spread of cholera in our capital city and the rest of the country,” he said in December 2017.

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