Zambia begins oral cholera vaccination

Southern African nation grappling with cholera outbreak since October with 9,953 cases, 397 deaths on record

Zambia on Tuesday kicked off a mass oral cholera vaccination drive targeting township hotspots of the capital Lusaka, which has been severely hit by the outbreak.

The drive started with the 1.4 million doses received on Monday from the World Health Organization (WHO) which has allocated the Southern African nation 1.7 million doses of the vaccine.

Launching the campaign in George Township of Lusaka, Zambia’s Health Minister Sylvia Masebo said residents will be given one dose each instead of the recommended two doses because the vaccines were insufficient to cater to everyone.

“The vaccine will also be administered to our health workers who have been at the forefront fighting cholera,” said Masebo.

The country of 20 million citizens has been grappling with a cholera outbreak since last October.

On Tuesday, the Zambia National Public Health Institute reported that the country had recorded 373 new cases and 23 deaths.

This brought the nationwide cumulative number of cases since October to 9,953, with 397 deaths and 8,757 recoveries.

The country’s President Hakainde Hichilema said later Tuesday in a Facebook post that the outbreak was still alive and citizens should continue taking precautions and follow health guidelines.


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