We need to change our attitudes towards hygiene
Published On January 5, 2024 » 828 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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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.
With all the interventions that the government has put in place; the medical and support resources it has distributed at its disposal to fighting the disease; and all the public sensitisation programmes, there is only one cardinal, missing component, and that is the positive attitude that we the Zambian people need to assume.
The Zambian public has always had all the answers to avert the cholera crisis we are experiencing today, even before all the interventions that the government has put in place.
It is in the attitude towards our own personal hygiene in our homes, in public, at our work and at trading places, and even in the way we interact with others that is missing.
That is the real panacea to the humongous cholera outbreak that we are faced with today.
And for as long as our attitudes remain the same, then we are all in for the long haul, we may continue to perish in huge numbers if we do not begin to assume responsibility as individuals.
Not a very pleasant way to look at the calamity that has befallen us, but, it is correct to put things in the right perspective, in a very candid manner; that is the route things may slowly turn out to be.
Death, death and more death! Not until we begin to change our attitude towards life.
The message is clear and easy to follow as has always been: Drink clean boiled or chlorinated water, wash your hands with soap after use of the lavatory, eat hot and well cooked foods.
Do not buy or eat foods from any unclean, unknown sources, keep your work and living premises spotless clean, and avoid or bury any unclean standing puddles of water.
We can all beat this cholera, only if we follow basic hygiene rules.

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