World Vision Zambia Declares Category 1 National Response for Cholera outbreak.

January 16, 2024 
World Vision Zambia Declares Category 1 National Response for Cholera outbreak which has resulted in over 300 deaths and appeals for US$1,000,000. 
Context and Background  
Zambia has experienced increased incidences of cholera since January 2023, with the first cases reported in Vubwi, a town bordering Malawi. The situation was initially contained and declared closed on July 15, 2023.  

However, the country has seen a resurgence of cases reported in Lusaka, the capital, since October 14, 2023. As of January 10, 2024, 47 districts from nine of Zambia’s 10 provinces reported cholera cases. Lusaka district of Lusaka province has recorded over 95% of the cumulative cases in the country. The main drivers for the outbreak include limited access to clean water, contaminated water sources, shallow wells, inadequate sanitation, and poor waste disposal.  

Cholera impact 
Since October 2023, Zambia has experienced an increase in the number of confirmed cholera cases. As of January 10, 2024, the cholera outbreak had spread to nine out of the ten provinces of Zambia. Cumulatively, over 7,800 cases have been confirmed, and more than 300 deaths have been recorded, with an average of daily new cases above 400. With the Case Fatality Rate at 3.9% and an Attack Rate of 37.1 per 100,000 (Lusaka 224.5), there’s a high risk of an exponential increase in cases. Most of the recorded deaths are community deaths, posing more challenges with case management and likely indicate the reported numbers are higher than the official count.  

Through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, the Government of Zambia has taken up its coordination role, with support from various other government and non-government actors. This coordination team meets daily, and World Vision is part of this coordination mechanism. The Government of Zambia has yet to declare an emergency but has been meeting regularly to deliberate on the way forward, including deciding whether to declare an emergency. Furthermore, the government has called on stakeholders to support the response interventions.    

In consultation with the interim Regional HEA Director, World Vision Zambia (WVZ) has declared a Category 1 (CAT1) National Response to respond to the deteriorating cholera outbreak. We are particularly concerned with the well-being of vulnerable children, primarily in high-density urban and peri-urban areas.  

Impact on World Vision Zambia programming and planned response 
Among the 47 districts with reported cases of cholera, World Vision Zambia is present in 22 districts, either through nine area programmes, eight grants, or by hosting five World Vision Zambia offices. A total of 30,387 World Vision Zambia sponsored children are currently at risk in the nine area programmes. Lusaka, which accounts for over 95% of the reported cases, is host to World Vision Zambia National Office (HQ), with some staff from the affected sub-districts. Currently, there are no reports of any registered child or World Vision staff affected. 

World Vision Zambia has supported the Government of Zambia with response interventions, including coordination. World Vision Zambia is the co-chair of the WASH sector along with the Government and UNICEF. Furthermore, World Vision Zambia sits on the National Incident Management System under the Risk Communication and Community Engagement sub-sector. Other interventions to date include trucking water, water quality monitoring, risk communication, supply of chlorine, infection prevention control supplies and other associated supplies.   

Given the deteriorating situation, World Vision Zambia plans to scale up its interventions to assist people affected in Lusaka province and other high-risk areas around the country. Priority sectors include WASH, Health Management support (prevention and case management), and Child Protection focusing on Cholera Treatment Centre (CTCs), Health Care Facilities (HCF) and selected schools. 

Immediate needs: Funding and prayer requests
As World Vision Zambia seeks to scale-up its assistance, the office appeals for the following partnership support:     

US$1,000,000 to reach 250,000 people in Lusaka and other high-risk areas, including the 22 affected districts where World Vision Zambia has a presence. 
Prayers for the families, women and children impacted. 
Prayers for the frontline staff and partners working on this response across the country as we respond to this evolving situation.   
John Hasse, National Director, World Vision Zambia | | +260 971 020069 
Bernard Zgambo, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Director World Vision Zambia | | +260 977 864010 
Kambani Phiri, Communications Manager, World Vision Zambia | | +260 976289599
Eddie Palula, Interim Regional Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Director-SAR, | | +260 970 937842  
Pamela K. Chama, Communications, Advocacy and Public Engagement Director-SAR | | +260 977 782 399