Zambia: Africa CDC Support On Cholera Outbreak in Zambia

As cholera cases surge in Southern Africa’s member states, particularly in Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Africa CDC has been following and supporting the response efforts. In Zambia, a delegation of the Africa CDC led by the Ag. Deputy Director General Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, on behalf of Director General H.E. Dr Jean Kaseya, conducted high-level engagements with the Zambian Minister of Health, Honourable Sylvia Masebo, to assess the cholera situation and identify critical gaps for continuous support.

The delegation further conducted field visits to the Cholera Treatment Centers (CTC)s and affected communities, including engaging partners such as the WHO, UNICEF, JICA, US-CDC, IFRC, World Bank, and UKHSA, among others, to ensure better coordination and alignment of the required support in circumventing duplication of efforts.

Through the Africa CDC Southern Regional Coordinating Centre, Africa CDC has deployed 15 technical assistance officers to support the Coordination, Surveillance, Infection Prevention and Control, Case Management, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) interventions in the affected areas. The team will work with the Ministry of Health Zambia, ZNPHI, and partners to strengthen government efforts to control and end the cholera outbreak.

Dr Ouma further debriefed H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and expressed the commitment of Africa CDC to alleviating the cholera outbreak with support to interventions worth one million USD.

Africa CDC will also offer support through the following interventions:

· Train and deploy 500 community health workers in Kanyama and Matara district to support RCCE and Social and Behavioural Change (SBC) interventions.

· Production of IEC materials, including 10,000 flyers and radio jingles in various local languages.

· Strengthening laboratory capacity for genomic sequencing to identify and prevent new variants of pathogens from getting into the community.

· Training of 50 healthcare workers on sample collection and referral.

· Deploy 150 clinical management staff (doctors, clinical officers, nurses, laboratory technicians, environmental health technicians, and pharmacists).