Namibia bans food imports from cholera-hit Zambia

Thursday January 11 2018

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu chats with a cholera patient at the Cholera Centre at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu chats with a cholera patient at the Cholera Centre at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on January 9, 2018. PHOTO | PRESIDENCY 

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Namibia has banned the importation of perishable foodstuff and water from neighbouring Zambia where a cholera outbreak has killed 66 people.

Local media reported Wednesday that the ban took effect on Monday.

Zambia is one of Namibia’s top four trading partners.

“Many Namibians in the eastern Zambezi Region buy – and in some cases smuggle – maize flour and fruits such as mangoes from Zambia,” a Namibian New Era newspaper reported.

Zambia’s health minister said Tuesday that the country has recorded 2,672 cases since cholera broke out in October.

As part of measures to contain the spread of the disease, Zambia has banned public gatherings, postponed the start of school year, cancelled church services and imposed a night-time curfew.

Cholera is a water-borne diarrhoeal disease that, if left untreated, can kill within hours. It is however easily cured with oral rehydration, intravenous fluids and antibiotics.