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Zambia: We Need to Change Our Attitudes Towards Hygiene


THE Cholera epidemic does not seem to be letting up, going by the numbers of those that are capitulating everyday from the malady since the outbreak last January.

So far, official figures place the numbers of those who have died at 170, and still counting.

We are losing an average of seven or more people everyday, and the statistics are a matter of grave concern for everyone.

It is for the reason that this Government has declared an emergency and placed all it’s intervention protocols on high alert.

The ministry of Health, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and other relevant government departments have all in a timely manner placed all their resources, personnel and equipment in rapid reaction mode to ensure that cholera is contained.

It is not only disheartening to wake up every morning to count our dead, but it is also scary to realise that, you or the loved one next to you could be the next victim, a statistic of the quick killer cholera bug.

And yet, unfortunately, we still see a lot of resistance from people, especially those illegal vendors in the Lusaka central business district (CBD) who continue to trade in squalid filthy conditions, and play hide and seek or fight running battles with council health authorities.

Is this the price we are willing to pay, really?

We need a lot of self introspection and make a paradigm shift in our attitude towards cleanliness.

The news that the situation is so dire that even the care givers, the nurses are falling victim, should be serious food for thought for every citizen.

It is elating that, the government has engaged the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has committed to immediately avail one million cholera vaccines to mitigate the further spread of this fast killing menace.

The Chinese government is also on standby to respond to a request for more vaccines at the request of Zambian government authorities.

Such initiations by the authorities do not just show commitment to the preservation of the life of every individual Zambian but also shows the maturity and responsibility that government has towards the lives of her people.

Going by the daily statistics of deaths occurring everyday, everyone is alive to the fact that the fatalities are growing in numbers on a daily basis and something just has to be done.