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20 march 2019

The Zambian government establishes a plan to eliminate cholera by 2025

The Zambian government has established a new national multi-sectoral cholera elimination plan that aims to put an end to cholera in the country by the year 2025. Cholera hotspots identified in the country will be targeted for improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation and appropriate healthcare.

The Zambian government establishes a plan to eliminate cholera by 2025

The Zambian government has committed to ending cholera in the country by the year 2025. The new national multi-sectoral cholera elimination plan for the period 2019-2025 will be used to mobilize resources and guide strategies and activities to be implemented in the country. The cholera elimination agenda has received support from cooperating partners who have also pledged to support implementation of the plan. During a workshop to finalize and validate the elimination plan, the Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, has stated that the plan would target the cholera hotspots in the country.

Over the past two decades, the large majority of cholera cases in Zambia were reported in Lusaka. Other regularly-affected communities have been located along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in the northern districts of Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern Provinces, as well as the Lukanga Swamp area in Central Province. Fighting cholera in Zambia will involve improvement of the conditions in slums and peri-urban areas, ameliorating access to appropriate healthcare, adequate safe water and sanitation as well as enhancing health literacy and hygiene behaviors by engaging communities through social mobilization and risk communication. Other key actions include improved surveillance systems and laboratory capacity, enhanced preparedness and response strategies, and use of oral cholera vaccines in identified hotspots. With this ambitious goal, Zambia is set to eliminate cholera five years earlier than the global target of 2030, as outlined in the Global Roadmap to End Cholera.