Chinese firm donates funds to help Zambia tackle cholera outbreak

Updated 2018-01-05 11:31:06 Xinhua

Chinese construction giant AVIC International on Thursday donated funds to Zambia's health ministry to help combat a cholera outbreak in Lusaka, the country's capital.

The Chinese firm presented a cheque of 100,000 Zambian Kwacha (about 10,000 U.S. dollars) to Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya during a ceremony following escalating cases of the waterborne disease.

Cui Ji, the firm's representative, said the increased cholera cases in the city were a source of concern, hence the company's decision to make a donation towards the fight.

He said this was not the first time that AVIC contributed funds towards the response to the cholera fight as it contributed 40,000 Kwacha (about 4,000 U.S. dollars) a week ago to the local authority in the city for the same purpose.

He said all stakeholders needed to work together to prevent further spread of cholera.

According to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, cumulative cholera cases have now reached 2,148 countrywide, with the country's capital accounting for 2,091 of the cases and 51 deaths.

On his part, Chilufya thanked the Chinese firm as well as other partners who were coming on board to help combat the epidemic.

The minister announced further measures to combat the disease such as enhancing inspection of food outlets in the city as well as suspending the transporting of vegetables and fruits from outside for selling in the city.

He said inspections conducted have revealed that food from some food outlets in the city was contaminated with cholera and some foot outlets have since been shut down.

The authorities, he said, have shut down three outlets belonging to a popular food takeaway, Hungry Lions, after food samples showed cholera contamination as well as other food outlets in the city.

The authorities have also demanded that all food handlers in food outlets be issued with certificates.

About 40 traders have been taken to court for failure to observe measures announced recently aimed at halting the further spread of cholera.

"We will continue to work closely with local authorities countrywide to ensure that inspection of food handlers is enhanced," he said.

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