The provincial administration has declared cholera outbreak in Lundazi and Sinda districts of Eastern Province.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that this is after confirming two cases of cholera in Lundazi and another two cases in Sinda district with severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
In a statement availed to Breeze News, Mr. Kasolo says that close to 13 people with one death associated with cholera have been reported so far.
Mr. Kasolo says that all markets legal and illegal will be closed after inspections if they do not meet the required hygiene standards.
Government has also banned gatherings of more than five people, except a family shall take place in Eastern Province.
Gatherings of more than five people will only be cleared by the Ministry of Health or local authorities.
The provincial health officers in Chipata yesterday found different expired and damaged food stuffs being washed and repacked by unknown men.
Afrah Sakala who is Shoprite Chipata branch manager told Breeze News that the men ran away before they could be questioned.
Mr. Sakala says the contractor, who collects garbage at the chain store, has been complaining that some people repack damaged and expired food stuffs
He says the matter was reported to Chipata City Council because the repacked items are later sold to unsuspecting people in the district.
And Chipata City Council Director for Public Health, Constance Mulenga Chirwa, says the trend is bad and must be stopped, because the food is not fit for human consumption.
She also noted that the water being used to wash the fruits and vegetables is dirty and contaminated.
Mrs. Chirwa says that her office will discuss with management of the chain store and the company that collects the garbage to find a way of preventing food scavengers from accessing the damaged and expired items.
Operations at the slaughter slab at Chadiza New Market have been suspended due to unsanitary condition.
The Epidemic, Prevention, Control and management Committee said that the Chadiza District Council owned slaughter slab will not operate to prevent cholera outbreak in the area.
The suspension of operations was arrived at yesterday during the District Epidemics, Prevention, Control and Management Committee meeting.
Environment Health Specialists from the District Health Office and Chadiza Town Council reported that the state of the only slaughter slab in the area was not in good condition and that it was posing a source of disease transmission in the area.
The report indicated that although some works are being done by the Local Authority to bring the slaughter slab to some animal standard, the slaughter slab should be suspended until when the Health Specialists report that the slab is conducive.
With the suspension of operations at the slaughter slab, the committee has also banned the selling of small pieces of meat in baskets commonly known as ‘kajinya’ or ‘michopo’ by some vendors throughout the district.
Some restaurants, bars and breweries that are not meeting the health standards have also been earmarked for closure.
The committee has targeted health institutions, schools, churches and traditional leaders as some of the institutions that could help in sensitizing the community on cholera.
Chadiza is one of the few districts in the region that does not have an abattoir and depends on the slaughter slab for meat product to be in the butcheries.
However with the suspension of operations at de slab, the residents of Chadiza will now be travelling 75 kilometres to Chipata or 50 kilometres to Katete to buy meat products.
A total of 24 expectant mothers died last year in Chipata district due to various maternal complications.
Chipata District Maternal and Neonatal Nursing Officer Sara Tembo revealed that 24 expectant women died in the district in 2017 with the last one dying on 28th December.
Ms. Tembo said it was unacceptable that mothers have continued to die while giving birth due to various maternal complications in the district.
She was speaking during the handover of a maternity wing at Makwe health post in Chipata yesterday.
She said it was the wish of the Ministry of Health to have a maternity wing at every health facility so that expectant mothers can deliver in a conducive environment with the help of trained health personnel.
Ms. Tembo said the district health office is extremely happy that a maternity wing has been built at Makwe health post which will greatly help expectant mothers seeking various antenatal services.
And Luangeni Member of Parliament Charles Zulu explained that expectant mothers in the area used to cover long distances to Mwami Mission Hospital to seek various antenatal services.
He said the facility, which has been built at a total cost of 250, 000 Kwacha will cushion the number of maternal deaths in the area as well as shorten the distance being covered by expectant mothers.
Consultative meetings for construction of a strategic bulk fuel storage facility in Chipata district have started.
Emmanuel Banda, who is a consultant with Kasumwa Environmental Consultant and General Supplies Limited, says the organization is carrying out consultation meetings on behalf of government.
He was speaking during a scoping meeting for the proposed construction of the fuel storage facility yesterday.
Mr. Banda says the meeting was meant to give the stakeholders an opportunity to participate in what they expect from the project as well as understand what the project is about.
He says the proposed fuel storage facility will be constructed thirty kilometers from Chipata city in Senior Chief Nzamane’s area and will have a capacity of seven million liters.
Mr. Banda explained that the storage facility will have two diesel tanks, each with a capacity of two million liters and two tanks of petroleum fuel each, with a capacity of one million liters.
The facility will also have two other tanks for paraffin and jet fuel which will have a storage capacity of half a million liters each.
And speaking during the same meeting, Chipata District Administration Office Kapembwa Sikazwe says that the construction of the strategic fuel reserves in Eastern province will complement the efforts by government to industrialize the province.
Mr. Sikazwe says that the industrialization of the province would not be possible without the availability of enough fuel as fuel is needed to run machines in different industries.