The Ministry of Health says 138 cases of typhoid have been reported in Lusaka’s Kalingalinga Compound.

And the Ministry has clarified that 980 patients did not die at the University Teaching Hospital in one week as reported by the Lusaka City Council saying those records were taken from the burial permits office which records deaths from other places as well.

At a media briefing in Lusaka today, Ministry of Health Spokesperson Dr Kennedy Malama announced that Mpika had recorded 162 cases of typhoid whilst Kalingalinga has reported 138 cases.

“When it comes to typhoid, you are all aware that Mpika district in Muchinga, we have been recording typhoid cases since pretty about 5th May this year. As at yesterday, we have had a total of 162 cases of typhoid. When we talk of 162 cases, we mean those confirmed cases, and the suspected cases, those that we are still treating. Normally when you have an outbreak you don’t wait to confirm all the cases. Once you confirm some, there are others that may be coming and fit in the picture, then we will treat as typhoid. In terms of those who were still under treatment as at yesterday we had two,” Dr Malama said.

“Since the outbreak was declared in Kalingalinga, 138 cases as at yesterday had been reported and we had one patient undergoing treatment at Kalingalinga but stable. So we have continued sensitizing people and providing chlorine for treating the water and for the toilets.”

And Dr Malama clarified that UTH did not lose 980 people in one week as reported by LCC.

“The 980 deaths which were reported by the Lusaka City Council, those figures were gotten from the burial permits issuance office at UTH. That number was gotten not from the University Teaching Hospital, it was obtained from that little office in UTH which belongs to Lusaka City council. That office gives burial permits and that includes people who die in road traffic accidents, people who die at home, indeed even some people who die at UTH, those who die at levy, those who die in our clinics. In other words, that office is the only office where you can get a burial permit. So whoever dies from anywhere! When it is time to bury, you are going to get the burial permit from there. So when you are told by Lusaka city council that there was that 980 deaths, I know some of you mistook it that it implied that UTH lost 980 people in three weeks. That is not correct,” he said.

Dr Malama also said the cholera outbreak in Chiengi had been contained.

“As you aware that this year we have been recording cholera cases especially in Chiengi in Luapula has been quite prominent, but it is important to note that now for almost thirty plus days, we have not recorded any new case of cholera in Chiengi. So the figure still stands at 82 since the outbreak started and as a result of that, we are declaring the cholera outbreak in Chiengi over because with Cholera what we normally do is when you have about two weeks without any new case, then you can say that particular outbreak is over. Therefore in Chiengi, that outbreak we have been talking about is over. But a caution is that you may say it is over, if another new case comes up tomorrow, then we will declare that there is a cholera outbreak,” Dr Malama says.

Meanwhile, Dr Malama said the Ebola outbreak in Congo had been confined.

“On Ebola colleagues, the Democratic Republic of Congo as we shared with you so far that is where the Ebola situation has been confined. Initially we gave you a higher figure of 37 cases but when the team in Congo supported by WHO revised the numbers, they noted that actually the true figure is 14, and out of that, we have lost 4 patients from Ebola in Congo. Zambia has not recorded any Ebola case and as a country we have remained on high alert to ensure that we prevent Ebola from reaching Zambia. And we have also ensured that all the ten provinces have been sensitized using the existing structures,” said Dr Malama.