Work together to curb epidemics – Msichili

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COPPERBELT Permanent Secretary Stanford Msichili has urged councils and water utilities on the Copperbelt to work together when issuing plots in new residential areas to avoid epidemics like cholera.

Mr Msichili said at the Copperbelt provincial epidemics preparedness, prevention and control management meeting at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola yesterday that the water utility firms and councils should plan together when giving out plots to avoid diseases like cholera.

He said local authorities did not consult water firms at the point of issuing plots and, therefore, did not collect service charges for water and sewer lines.

This, he said, led to plot owners building houses without water and sewer lines.

“You will find beautiful houses in new residential areas and the owners are building wells next to septic tanks. This means we are the ones creating epidemics,” Mr Msichili said.

He said the meeting needed to find ways to ensure that the challenges like street vending were discussed and solutions found to keep epidemics away.

He said the Copperbelt had recorded 37 confirmed cases of typhoid, two confirmed cases of measles, 14 confirmed cases of dysentery and 993 dog bites this year.

Copperbelt provincial medical officer Consity Mwale said the objectives of the meeting were to strengthen control efforts to prevent epidemics.

Dr Mwale said the meeting was also meant to find ways of facilitating logistics in case epidemics like cholera broke out.