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Cholera remains a worldwide risk and is a threat to our health. Zambia is experiencing a Cholera outbreak in Vubwi,  Eastern province.

Acute diarrhoeal disease called Cholera is contracted by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacterium. A severe case of acute watery diarrhoea and severe dehydration can result from the exceedingly hazardous disease, Cholera.

After consuming contaminated food or water, symptoms may appear between 12 hours to for 5 days. If left untreated, Cholera can kill both adults and children within hours.

Despite the fact that Vibrio cholerae is present in people’s faces for one to 10 days after infection, the majority of people who contract the infection do not exhibit any symptoms. This indicates that the bacteria are released into the environment where they may infect new victims.

In many cases, Cholera can be predicted and avoided. It can eventually be eliminated where there is access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, as well as proper hygiene practices, is provided and maintained. This means that we must always use clean water when cooking, cleaning, or washing.

Here are a few tips to consider when preventing the deadly disease:

Drink safe water

Use clean toilets

Bath clean water

Boil and cook food properly

Keep food covered

Eat food hot

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using the toilet

Wash your hands with soap and water  before and after eating

Wash your hands with soap and water  regularly

Peel fruits and vegetables

Avoid raw vegetables

Clean up your environment-before and after use

The Ministry of Health has put in place a number of activities to respond to the outbreak. One way is the Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) which are the most effective strategy to prevent the deadly disease. OCVs are safe and effective, and while they are only one tool in a much wider toolkit that includes sustainable clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they serve as an important bridge to these longer-term initiatives.

Good Food Hygiene and Health Education are also other means of preventing Cholera. During the daily 19 hours news on ZNBC, there is a Cholera advert that runs which gives Health Education on Cholera. They say knowledge is power and that is why it is very important to share the little knowledge you have with your neighbor especially if it concerns health. Always listen and be proactive.

Communities should be reminded of basic sanitary practices. These include always washing hands with soap after defecation and before handling or eating food, as well as safe food preparation and storage. Remember to keep clean at all times everywhere.

Let’s share information and save lives together. Be your brother’s keeper. Stay safe.


The author is a Senior Health

Promotion Officer

Ministry of Health-Headquarters Dept: Health Promotion, Environment and Social Determinants

Unit: Health Promotion Phone No.: +260 953 268090


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