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Zambia Reopens School Following Cholera Outbreak

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Following the outbreak of cholera in Zambia, Schools have reopened after five weeks of containing the highly contagious disease. The Minister of Education, Douglas Syakalima, conducted a nationwide inspection to ensure readiness, as all preventive measures against cholera have been put in place. "May I take this opportunity to assure parents, guardians, and the country at large that the Ministry of Education, through the Directorate of Standards Assessment and Evaluation and School Health and Nutrition, has been and will continue to conduct school inspections in all 10 provinces," he told journalists during a press briefing.

The ministry has since adjusted the school calendar to make up for the lost time, he added. Schools were initially scheduled to open on Jan. 8, but the ministry postponed the opening to Jan. 29 and then to Feb. 12 due to a surge in cholera cases.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said about 1,815 out of 1,845 schools in the capital of Lusaka, the epicenter of the outbreak, have been inspected.

She said during a separate press briefing on the cholera situation update that there has been a general downward trend in the number of cases and mortalities in the past weeks. The southern African country has recorded 17,763 cases and 630 deaths since the cholera outbreak in October last year, following 182 new cases and one death in the past 24 hours.