United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) join hands to strengthen the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s cholera response

Through support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF will continue to strengthen the ongoing cholera response efforts by supporting the Ministry of Health in the Southern Province. Cholera cases have been found in all ten provinces of the country, but specifically in high-density locations like Lusaka or hotspots like the fishing camps in the Southern Province. While Zambia has seen a sharp decrease in cases since the outbreak’s peak in January, Lusaka, Copperbelt Central and Southern provinces continue to report cases. In addition, there are concerns that the ongoing drought in Zambia will exacerbate the cholera situation as people may be more likely to resort to unsafe sources of water.

Through this support from USAID, UNICEF will focus on strengthening coordination among government bodies at the local and national level, improving the public health response with a focus on early identification, treatment, and referral of cases and expanding support of Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) for improved uptake of lifesaving interventions. 

“USAID has a long history of partnering with the Government of the Republic of Zambia to face tough challenges together. Whether it is preventing and responding to infectious disease outbreaks like cholera or partnering with farmers to mitigate the effects of the climate-induced drought, USAID will continue to work with the people of Zambia to develop more resilient systems and communities,” said USAID Mission Director, Peter Wiebler.

This USAID support will allow UNICEF to strengthen and expand successful programmes in coordination with the Government, like training of Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) on early case finding, community case management and the dissemination of cholera prevention materials among households and equipping them with the necessary supplies and medical commodities. With this support, UNICEF will be able to set up 30 Oral Rehydration Corners (ORCs) and train 120 CBVs to operate them in three of the districts in the Southern Province that have been disproportionally impacted by the cholera outbreak. This funding will improve community structures and build capacity among staff and volunteers allowing them to reach a wider population with critical support. 

“Training a community to identify, track and prevent cholera is fundamental to ending cholera nationally. The work of our Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) has been crucial to allowing us to reach more families with support right in their communities and identify cholera cases quickly. It will take everyone from families, communities, districts and government ministries to join forces and build strong structures of support to respond to cases and prevent cholera in the future,” said Dr. Penelope Campbell, Representative, UNICEF Zambia.

This support from the United States comes at a crucial moment as cases have now reached 915 with 21 deaths in the Southern Province. This funding is key to expanding the work UNICEF and partners are already actively doing by improving system coordination, community prevention, health services and WASH programmes. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Zambia.

The post United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) join hands to strengthen the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s cholera response appeared first on Capital Newspaper.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *