Zambia Cholera Outbreak - UNICEF Situation Report #2, 3 March 2016



  • Since the 6th epidemiological week of 2016 (5 February 2016), there has been a total of 66 cases of Cholera reported in Lusaka District (47 cases) and Chibombo District (19 cases).

  • The outbreak started in Kanyama compound in Lusaka Province and later spread to the neighbouring district of Chilombo, in Central Province.

  • The peak number of cases was during the 7th and 8th epidemiological weeks with 20 cases reported each week.

  • The cumulative number of new cases per week reduced from 20 to 8 in week 9 and 3 in week 10 (current week).

  • 30 of the reported Cholera cases have been laboratory confirmed.

  • The Ministry of Health is leading the response and has set up coordination structures at national, provincial and district levels.

  • Coordination at the national level is led by the inter-sectoral National Emergency Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management Committee (NEPPC&MC)

  • Cholera causing organisms have been isolated in food sold in the streets with Government banning on-street food vending starting the week of 29 February.

Situation Overview

Since 5 February, 66 cases of cholera have been reported, 47 in Lusaka City, Lusaka Province and 19 cases in the neighbouring Chibombo district in Central Province. Thirty of these have been laboratory confirmed as cholera. Only one death has been reported since onset of the outbreak.

The Outbreak started in Kanyama Township, a low income, high density residential area that has a chronic history of Cholera/Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD). In Lusaka, the outbreak was initially confined to Kanyama high density catchment area but now has spread to other areas within the district which together with Kanyama bring the total number of cases reported in Lusaka district to 47. The other affected locations are Bauleni, Mahopo, and Chilenje in Lusaka Province and Twalumba catchment area in Chibombo district in Central Province. Kanyama Township has low coverage of piped water supply (mostly stand-pipes) and residents rely on a combination of shallow wells and commercial water vendors. The water utility company, Lusaka Water and Sewage Company (LWSC), has increased the number of water kiosks and tanks to supply clean water to Kanyama. The Kanyama compound with a total population of about 370,000 people is not connected to the sewer system and residents use pit latrines which put them at high risk of contracting Cholera. In addition, amid nationwide scheduled power cuts, the Zambia Electricity and Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has exempted the affected areas to ensure the districts have electricity supply during the day to enable them pump water from boreholes to tanks for use.