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Cholera in Zambia has already killed 518 people and led to a new postponement of the start of the academic year

The cholera epidemic in Zambia has already caused 518 deaths since October, the Zambian Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, announced this Wednesday, which forced the start of the academic year to be postponed for a second time.

: WHO Africa
WHO Africa  

Zambia, which borders Angola, has faced an increase in the cholera outbreak since October 2023, experiencing the worst epidemic of this disease since 2011.

The start of the academic year was initially scheduled for January 8th, but last week the government postponed it for the first time to January 29th and this Wednesday, due to the growing number of cholera cases, the Minister of Education, Douglas Syakalima, announced at a press conference a second postponement, now until February 12th.

Cholera is an acute form of diarrhea that, without treatment, can kill within a few hours and is transmitted through contaminated water or food.

According to the Minister of Health, the total number of deaths since October is 518, including six in the last 24 hours.

In mid-January, Zambia received its first batch of more than one million oral doses of cholera vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO).

On Tuesday, Angola set alert level 2, out of a maximum of 3, due to the cholera epidemic in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo) and Zambia.

The announcement was also made at a press conference by the director of public health, Helga Freitas, according to which there are no recorded cases of cholera in Angola.

"The Ministry of Health is positioning emergency kits along the border and reinforcing all borders nationally," she concluded.


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