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Doctor jailed for defaming Zambian leader   

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- A court in western Zambia’s Mongu district on Wednesday sent a medical doctor to three years in jail after convicting him of defaming President Edgar Lungu.

The doctor had created a fake Facebook account which he used to bring the name of the Zambian leader in ridicule by posting disturbing remarks, insults and digitally altering his images, according to police spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo.

She said the doctor had used the name of another medical to create the Facebook account and went on to threaten the same doctor with murder when he complained.

The police spokesperson said the judgment was welcome as it will send a strong warning to people who were in the habit of abusing social media.


WHO helps Zambia to immunize 1 mln people against cholera

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that it’s supporting Zambia in launching a vaccination campaign in the African country to help one million people against cholera.

The campaign was launched on Wednesday to vaccinate residents of Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, against cholera. Two million doses of oral cholera vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile were delivered to the southern African country in January, enough to immunize one million people.

According to Zambia’s health authority, the campaign will bring the life-saving vaccine to the people who need it most.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Since the start of the current outbreak in Zambia from early October 2017, the country’s health authority has reported a total of 2,672 cases, with Lusaka alone accounting for 2,558 cases. Of the 63 deaths countrywide, 58 were from Lusaka.

While sporadic cases of cholera are regular occurrences in Zambia during the five-month rainy season, the number of cases this year has exceeded the average annual caseload.

The WHO is currently working with the Zambia National Public Health Institute to address the underlying causes of the cholera outbreak, including clean water provision, sanitation and health education on personal hygiene. The agency is also helping authorities to track down cases, treat cholera patients and provide community health education.

The WHO recommends that vaccination against cholera be considered in emergencies and other high-risk scenarios, as planning is underway to vaccinate a further one million people living in known cholera hot spots across the country later this year.


Cholera-hit Zambia rues neighboring countries’ restrictions

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Thursday that it was not necessary for some neighboring countries to restrict travels by Zambians and halt food imports due to a cholera outbreak.

According to reports, the Namibian government has resolved to provisionally ban importation of all perishable food, fruits, unprocessed food and water from Zamia following a cholera outbreak.

Other neighboring countries such as Tanzania and Malawi are reported to have imposed measures to restrict entries by Zambians.

Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale said such measures were not necessary as the cholera situation was not out of control and as the government has put in place stringent measures to curtail further spread.

“Why should they do this now when they never imposed restrictions when we have higher cholera cases in the past,” he said in a live interview on HOT FM radio.

He also said there were many parts of the country that have not recorded any cases.

Zambia has recorded a cholera outbreak especially in Lusaka, the country’s capital, since October last year with over 2,800 cases so far.



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