Zambia: Country Records 300 Influenza Cases

25 September 2009

ZAMBIA has recorded more than 300 suspected cases of H1N1 Influenza out of which 32 have been confirmed to be the actual infection, Minister of Agriculture Brian Chituwo told Parliament yesterday.

Dr Chituwo said in a ministerial statement that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended that the infection should now be called Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 or Influenza A/H1N1.

He said that in Zambia, new suspected cases were reported in Western, North-Western and Northern provinces and that experts were already on the ground.

"Although we have attended to 32 confirmed cases of the Pandemic 2009, what is notable is that not a single Zambian has died from the disease so far," he said.

He said there was no need to panic because Pandemic 2009 was not as lethal as it was earlier reported and, in many instances, it was self-limiting as after a week the infection died.

Dr Chituwo said drugs had been secured through the WHO and the World Bank and another request had been made to secure more in order to beef up stocks.

The national action plan requires K9.8 billion and only half of the amount had been mobilised from the Government and its partners.

Dr Chituwo said that ports of entry were being manned by skilled personnel who were distributing leaflets on the disease and were on the look out for anyone with signs and symptoms of the disease.

He said that closure of schools was not recommended as the disease was like a common cold and in most cases it resolved itself.

The minister assured the nation that the Ministry of Health was providing the required leadership to the national response although there was need for inspired collective action involving MPs, traditional leaders and the church.