Govt hiding ongoing typhoid epidemic

Typhoid has broken out in the country but authorities are either under-playing it or covering up the epidemic for ‘political reasons’, Zambian Watchdog investigations have revealed.
Government is trying to cover up the outbreak because stalling preventable diseases like typhoid and cholera was one of the many campaign promises the PF made and was elected on that score.
Government is also afraid to classify the outbreak as an epidemic because it was transmitted to Lusaka by some Barotse activists who were detained at Mwembeshi and Mumbwa prisons.
It is believed that many people have so far died of typhoid in Western province. The province has been experienced prolonged water shortages sometimes lasting for two weeks even in the provincial capital Mongu.
A doctor at UTH said the outbreak has spread to most parts of the country and that ‘many of the funerals that we are seeing are due to Typhoid.’
The doctor said he and many of his colleagues had tried to report it but that the powers that be will not classify it as an epidemic for “political reasons”.
According to investigations, several deaths recorded at the Filter Clinic at UTH) are showing symptoms of Typhoid.
The Typhoid symptoms are also prevalent in patients seeking medication at Mongu General Hospital and Mwinilunga District Hospital.
At UTH some medical Doctors talked to who declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media have disclosed that almost four of every ten deaths recorded for the past month have shown signs of Typhoid.
“It is a very sensitive issue because apart from it being a medical problem, it is also political. It seems most of the victims are Lozi’s that were detained by the authorities. So government does not want this information to come out. I’m surprised you are aware of this. You are real investigators” one source said.
All medical sources spoken to said government has been told about the out break but no tangible steps have been taken to combat the spread of the disease that is suspected to have first broken in Mongu in the Western Province of Zambia. “It is true that there is an outbreak of Typhoid in the country. Technocrats especially at UTH have already informed government about this but nothing tangible has been done. A number of people may die if nothing is done. The first step is to accept that there is an outbreak” one of the sources said. Late last month a student at the University of Zambia (UNZA) died of Typhoid. Investigations conducted after the death of the student revealed that the student came from Mongu. The Zambian Watchdog staff has just returned from Mongu and there are no signs that government has sent any medical team to investigate the epidemic despite doctors at UTH relaying information to the Ministry of Health that the UNZA student came with typhoid from Mongu. At Mongu General Hospital, six out of ten people spoken to at the Out Patient Department (OPD) complained of symptoms similar to that of Typhoid. At Mwinilunga District Hospital two out of the five people talked to complained of similar symptoms.” You may be right with your findings but what is surprising is that despite Doctors at UTH concluding that the UNZA student died of Typhoid and that he came from Mongu, nothing has been done. Now we have Journalists like you conducting investigations instead of a medical team. It is a shame,” another doctor said.
In Lusaka, one person told the Watchdog that ‘my wife just got back from the doctor’s office. She went to check on our daughter’s typhoid test. The test results were not ready because the lab had 47 Widal tests (this is the test for Typhoid) to do for this morning alone. The lab tech did not have time to do them all. Keep in mind this is just from one morning at one doctor’s office.’

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