MINISTER of Health Sylvia Masebo has revealed that a case of Cholera has been confirmed in a 3-year-old girl from Mtendere township after she presented with severe acute diarrhoea and vomiting.

And Masebo has revealed that there is an outbreak of Bilharzia in Chirundu district.

Speaking during a COVID-19 briefing, Monday, Masebo said the 3-year-old girl was admitted to Kalingalinga clinic and was in stable condition.

She urged citizens to maintain the highest hygiene standards so as to curb Cholera.

“Before I update you on the COVID-19 situation, I wanted to inform you and the nation at large that we have admitted to Kalingalinga clinic a 3 year old girl with Cholera. This girl comes from Mtendere compound and is currently in stable condition. She presented with severe acute diarrhoea and vomiting and our health workers investigated for cholera which has been confirmed. Our teams including the Director General of ZNPHI are on the ground conducting field investigations to identify the source and contain the disease. I therefore call upon the Zambian people to keep vigil and maintain the highest hygiene standards so as to curb Cholera. I also want to remind the nation of the importance of taking cholera vaccines in identified hotspots. I will give further updates as we gather more information on this confirmed cholera case and other suspects,” Masebo said.

She said 26 new Bilharzia cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 99.

“While we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to be at risk of other emerging and re-emerging infections including neglected tropical diseases. Recently we managed outbreaks of measles in Chirundu, typhoid in Mbala, and scabies affecting Lavushimanda Districts. Currently, we are experiencing a Bilharzia outbreak in Chirundu. On 7th April 2022, Chirundu District Health Office through to Kapululira health centre responded to a report from Kapululira primary school indicating 73 were complaining of passing bloody urine. The school which has a population of 489 pupils and 9 teachers is being investigated for bilharzia. The persons affected are in the age range 7 to 15 years. Twenty-six (26) new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of active cases to 99. The age range of the affected is 6 to 16 years. Eighty (80) pupils who are symptomatic and 179 who are asymptomatic have received treatment in the last 24 hours,” Masebo said.

“Our District health team are investigating the source of infection and working to determine the risk factors. The following have been put in place to respond to the outbreak in Chirundu: Mass drug administration to asymptomatic pupils and teachers, 40 pupils of which 19 were symptomatic have already received treatment, another 400 pupils are expected to receive treatment and by Monday all at risk would have been administered with preventive treatment, active case finding coupled with health education is also ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Masebo said 692 confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded in the just ended week.

“Let me now update you on the COVID-19 situation in the country. In the just ended week, we recorded 692 confirmed cases, 1 death, and 17 new admissions (compared to 526 confirmed cases, 1 death, and 18 new admissions the previous week); this marks a 32% increase in new cases and a 6% decrease in new admissions. In the last 24 hours we recorded 36 new COVID-19 cases out of 1,505 tests conducted countrywide, giving an overall national positivity of 2%. Although the number of new cases recorded increased slightly in the past week, it is encouraging to note that we have continued to maintain our positivity below 5% for over three weeks now, showing that community transmission is still under control,” stated Masebo.

“We continue to urge families to get all eligible members vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. Vaccines are safe and they save lives. To date, 2,274,466 people are fully vaccinated, while a further 75,218 have received their booster doses so far. Since we expanded our vaccination programme to include children aged 12-17 at the end of last year, we have vaccinated 208,809 children with their dose 1 and 27,889 have received their dose 2 vaccinations. The proportion of eligible persons countrywide who are fully vaccinated still stands at 20%.”