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Government urged to conduct mass vaccinations to prevent high cholera deaths

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AS the cholera epidemic continues to claim lives daily, the lastest 22, as of yesterday, Government has been advised to urgently procure cholera vaccines and conduct mass vaccination in all hotspots.

Former Minister of Health Chitula Chilufya has also proposed that government thoroughly defines the epidemic, map the epicenters and potential hotspots, and identify factors fueling the epidemic.

“Engage partners and urgently procure cholera vaccines and conduct mass vaccination in all hotspots. This will confer some protection while you attend to primary determinants,” Dr Chilufya, who was health Minister from 2016 to 2021, said in a message on his official Facebook page today.

The University of Zambia trained public health physician said there is need to step up cholera interventions to stop the unacceptably high death toll.

“The nation is confronted with a ferocious public health enemy in this cholera epidemic. The death toll is unacceptably high.

“Let’s, therefore, enhance evidence informed leadership and coordination of a multi sectoral response. It’s time for unity of purpose to halt this outbreak and save lives, ” Dr Chilufya said.

The former minister, whom in 2018 led health workers in fighting a cholera outbreak which claimed over 100 lives, has also advised that government should consider stopping public gatherings for funerals for cholera victims.

“Improve case management to deal with the case load and stop the deaths. Improve logistics for surveillance, early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Enhance laboratory investigations and monitor key trends,” Dr Chilufya enlisted the proposed interventions.

He says there is also need to strengthen leadership and enhance a multi sectoral response in this public health war.

“Trigger and strengthen epidemic preparedness and response committees at national and subnational levels. Through the Zambia National Public Health Institute, trigger emergency response systems and coordinate with all stakeholders to sufficiently respond to the cholera outbreak,” Dr Chilufya adds.

He has also called for timeously issuance of Statutory Instruments to identify adequate infrastructure to treat patients in environments that are spacious, clean, well equipped.

The medical doctor also saluted efforts of frontline workeforce and stakeholders in fighting cholera.

As part of interventions to curb the spread of the deadly waterborne disease, Government yesterday banned selling of perishable and ready-to-eat foods in public offices and also restricted crowding in public places.

Government has also prohibited or restricted trading or vending in offices and surrounding premises.

In the last two days, 45 people died after succumbing to the deadly but preventable waterborne disease.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 6th January, 2024)

Politics

Government to sink boreholes across the country

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“WITH the current devastating climate change, the government is going flat out to sink boreholes and do crop irrigation across the country”, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

The President said his administration is determined to ensure food security despite the challenging circumstances.
“We are determined to ensure that food security is attained even during these difficult times. Let us all get involved and get it solved. We shall overcome as God will do the rest,” he said.

President Hichilema urged citizens to actively participate in the efforts, stating the collective responsibility to overcome the challenges emanating from the dry spell.

Last week, President Hichilema declared the ongoing drought a national disaster, announcing a comprehensive set of measures to mitigate its impact.

The declaration was prompted by the destruction of one million hectares of farmland, affecting over one million households across the country.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)

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‘Why are you pretending to be rich?’ HH asks Gov’t officials who insist on traveling on business class

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has described government officials that prefer traveling on business class as cheats and pretenders.

The head of state has revealed that the country has limited resources and it does not make sense for a government official to move in business class at the expense of the treasury.

The president said following the declaration of a national disaster as a result of the prolonged dry spells, that there will be for prudent usage of resources.

“We will aggressively shift resources from consumption, wastage travel, and business class. Secretary to the treasury, I hear there are people who want to travel business class from Lusaka to Johannesburg?” he said, “for one hour 30 minutes [you want to be on business class], we sit on our stools for three hour we village people,”

He wondered what is wrong with a government official travelling on economy class.

What’s wrong with economy ticket for one hour 40 minutes, this is what I call pretence, for one hour 40 minutes you want to fell rich, that’s cheating,” the President said.

He said he has already given his cabinet the signal that there will be no more unnecessary travels.

“There will be no more of such things, including unnecessary travels, size of delegation, I sent this signal to my colleagues in cabinet and I have made this official, resources are limited, the question is how do we utlise the limited resources,” Mr Hichilema said.

Meanwhile, he warned that there will be accountability in the utilization of resources and those found wanting “Will be on their own”

(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)

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House of Chiefs commends President Hichilema’s swift response to drought crisis.

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TRADITIONAL leaders have commended President Hakainde Hichilema’s decisive action in addressing the drought.

House of Chiefs Chairperson Chief Chisunka said the President’s declaration is a timely and crucial step in mobilising resources and support to mitigate the impact of this drought on the affected communities.

Dr Chisunka said the effects of climate change, particularly the prolonged dry spells and erratic rainfall patterns, have posed unprecedented challenges to agricultural systems, water sources, and, most importantly, the livelihoods of people.

He underscored the urgent need for collaborative efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.

Dr Chisunka said the traditional leadership is committed to supporting the government and ensuring coordinated relief efforts.

“As traditional leaders, we commend President Hakainde Hichilema for his swift and decisive action in recognizing the gravity of the situation and marking our country’s debilitating drought as a national disaster and emergency. Together, we can overcome this crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient than before. We will continue to work together to build a better and brighter future for all our people,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Sunday, 3rd March, 2024)

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