HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 c1318W
John Barrett

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on cholera levels in Zambia. [153349]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

There have been 3,965 reported cases of cholera, and 196 recorded deaths from cholera in Zambia in 2003–04 so far.

The Government have responded by establishing treatment centres in affected areas and mobilising drugs and personnel. Cholera awareness campaigns and contact tracing have been initiated and infection control measures stepped up. Other Government ministries have been mobilised. The Zambian armed forces will soon begin deliveries of safe water. Wells are being disinfected and free distribution of chlorine to disinfect water at the household level is planned.

In 2003, DFID contributed to district health recurrent costs to the sum of £7.5 million, including the funding of epidemic preparedness plans. DFID is currently arranging for the purchase of needed chlorine. Other agencies supporting the response are WHO, UNICEF, Red Cross and MSF.

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