Kasungu District Health Office (DHO) has unveiled a cholera response plan with a call to stakeholders to support the district maintain the zero-case status in the wake of resurgent cases in the country.
Presenting the plan to the district stakeholders on Tuesday, Kasungu district environmental health officer Rudolf Zinkanda Banda called for more support from partners to cushion the district from the outbreak in Kasungu’s neighbouring communities on the Zambian side.
“We need to be vigilant and aware of the fact that being rainy season, there are more risk factors, including the fact that we share borders with Zambia where they are registering cases,” he said.
Banda: We should be vigilant
Banda said the response plan recognises the importance of early planning for emergency response and strengthening facilities’ health emergency response systems.
He said: “We want to increase community engagement and risk communication, strengthen surveillance, case management, water and sanitation hygiene and coordination.
“We also have to procure drugs and related supplies, including establishing treatment units.”
Kasungu District Council director of public works Davie Chigwenembe called for more coordination among partners to ensure proper delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Kasungu shares boundaries with Chipangali, Lumezi and Lundazi districts of Zambia and an estimated 158 600 border population, specifically at Kamboni, Linyangwa, Mpempa, Chulu, Newa, Nkhamenya and Lodjwa, could be at risk.
However, the district is yet to register a case this season owing to increased water chlorination exercise in the communities and the successful implementation of the Tipewe Kolera campaign.
Zambia has reported over 17 000 cholera cases since the outbreak started in October last year with at least 626 deaths while Malawi has registered 67 cases and two deaths in the new season.