By DOROTHY CHISI in Shibuyunji –
FOUR people have died from suspected cholera in fishing camps located in Shibuyunji of Central Province leading to the Ministry of Health to shutting down seven illegal fishing camps.
The district has so far recorded 10 cases of cholera.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya who conducted an on-the-spot check at some of the fishing camps said the death of four people at Chiyasa fishing camp was unacceptable.
Dr Chilufya was accompanied on the visit by minister in the Vice-President’s Office Sylvia Chalikosa, ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge, Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama and Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit National Coordinator Yande Musonda.
Dr Chilufya said it was sad that people could be living in a place that had no water and the necessary sanitary facilities for human habitation.
He said it was unacceptable that at a time the Government was fighting cholera, people in other areas were still adamantly living in conditions that promoted the disease.
The camps were found at the time of the visit.
“All the fishing camps we have visited have no clean drinking water and sanitation services,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said the Government was working to ensure that cholera was beliminated and had provided a centre in Shibuyunji to vaccinate the people against cholera in the fishing area.
Livestock and Fisheries Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge said his ministry was putting up measures to empower people with the means to earn a living away from illegal fishing camps and encourage them to abide by fishing bans.
And giving a cholera update at Mutima Fishing Camp in Shibuyunji, Dr Chilufya said that 16 new cholera cases had been recorded in Lusaka in 24 hours on Tuesday.
He said despite the heavy downpour experienced in Lusaka, there had been no spike in the cases of cholera as the trend has continued to godown every week.
“From February 7, Shibuyunji has contributed to the cumulative number of cholera cases of 33 in which four deaths have been recorded in the illegal fishing camps,” Dr Chilufya said.
Dr Chilufya said the multi sectoral response team was heightening measures to make sure that cholera was eradicated within the coming few weeks.