Eastern recording high cases of dysentery

Eastern Province has been recording an average of two hundred suspected dysentery cases every week this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer, Jordan Banda says that Chipata so far has recorded the highest number of suspected dysentery cases with five hundred and twenty nine cases.

He says that compared to the same period last year, there has been a big reduction in the number of suspected dysentery cases being recorded.

Mr. Banda explained that last year, the province used to record about 400 suspected cases per week.

Mr. Banda says that the measures the districts have put in place to eradicate cholera have also helped in reducing the number of suspected dysentery cases in the province.

He says even though the province has had a number of suspected dysentery cases, only a few of those have been tested for confirmation.

And speaking during the same meeting, Lundazi District Health Officer, Davy Zulu, says the ministry faces challenges in confirming dysentery cases because fecal samples for suspected cases must be tested within a day.

He says testing the fecal matter within a day is not possible, as most suspected dysentery cases come from far areas and the samples usually reach the hospitals labs after the viability of the sample has expired.

Dr. Zulu says there is need for more labs to be constructed in hospitals to ensure that samples reach hospitals in good time.

UPND confident of winning April 24 by-elections

The United Party for National Development UPND in Eastern Province says it is optimistic that the party will win the local government by-elections in Sinda and Nyimba districts.

Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ, has set April 24th, 2018 as the date for Local Government By-Elections in areas where vacancies have arisen in various districts of the country.

In Eastern Province, by-elections will be held in Chiweza ward in Nyimba district and Chiwuyu ward in Sinda district.

UPND Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi says his party is optimistic that the party will scoop the two seats that were in the hands of the ruling party.

Mr. Mbuzi says the opposition political party is ready and that candidates who are contesting the two seats have been picked.

He further says that countrywide, the party will scoop all the fifteen local government by-elections.

Mr. Mbuzi adds that the ruling party should not expect people to vote like they voted in the last general elections, because electorates have lost faith in the ruling party.

Four major roads to be rehabilitated

Government through the Ministry of Local Government will soon release funds for the rehabilitation of about 160 kilometer feeder roads in Chipata district.

Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale says four roads have been earmarked for rehabilitation in Luangeni and Kasenengwa constituencies.

Mr. Mwale has named the roads earmarked for rehabilitation as Madzimoyo- Kagunda road, covering 64.1 kilometers and Mwami border-Mlanga school via Mwami Mission hospital covering 34 kilometers.

He says others are Mchelile- Kamlaza road covering 43 kilometers and Mducha- Mgochi road covering 27 kilometers.

Mr. Mwale says the contractors were on sites this week for feasibility studies.

He says once documentation is completed, government will release money and that road works will commence.

He has further called on councilors and the community in the respective areas to work in partnership with the contractors.

Eastern records 15 maternal deaths within two months

Eastern Province has so far recorded fifteen maternal deaths since the beginning of this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer Jordan Banda says that the fifteen maternal deaths were recorded in Chipata, Petauke and Katete with each of the districts recording five deaths.

He says while the rest of the districts have recorded no maternal deaths, the fifteen from the three districts is high and serious measures need to be put in place in order to correct the situation.

And speaking during the same event, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is important that going forward, any clinic or health post constructed should have a maternity annex to reduce the deaths.

And commenting to the remarks by the Permanent Secretary, Acting Provincial Health Director Charles Fanaka says that the Ministry is aware that that the infrastructure they have is not adequate.

He says that it is for this reason that the Ministry of Health with the support of NGOs is in the process of constructing mother shelters, were expectant mothers can go to wait from, until labour commences.

Dr. Fanaka says that this will help in ensuring that all pregnant women receive the help they need in giving birth as soon as possible.