Zambia Emerges From Cholera Lockdown As Schools Resume

636

Mervis Kateka is happy to be back at secondary school and feels confident her teachers will bring her and her claMervis Kateka is happy to be back at secondary school and feels confident her teachers will bring her and her classmates up-to-speed.

“It’s not the first time we have experienced such a long break from school. It also happened during Covid-19. So my parents ensured that I did school work at home by accessing material from the internet and using textbooks,” the 16-year-old tells the BBC in the capital, Lusaka.

Schools have reopened across Zambia after a three-week closure to halt the spread of a cholera outbreak that has killed 600 people and infected 17,000 since October. Cases seem to be slowing now.

Health and safety rules are to be enforced by schools – including regular hand-washing.

“Furniture used by students is sanitised before, during, and after classes…The school has an isolation room where children manifesting cholera symptoms will be taken care of whilst waiting for parents to pick them up,” reads a note issued by Nkhwazi primary school’s headmaster Stanley Simwaba.

Parents in Lusaka were clearly relieved to have their children back in school – some even dropped them off long before classrooms opened.

“I am confident that the government has in place measures to ensure the safety of the students and the teaching community,” says Lusaka parent Mutinta Nketani.

“As parents, we are grateful that the ministry of health is working tirelessly to stop the spread, and the drastic reduction in cases and confidence to reopen schools is a testimony to this.”ssmates up-to-speed.

“It’s not the first time we have experienced such a long break from school. It also happened during Covid-19. So my parents ensured that I did school work at home by accessing material from the internet and using textbooks,” the 16-year-old tells the BBC in the capital, Lusaka.

Schools have reopened across Zambia after a three-week closure to halt the spread of a cholera outbreak that has killed 600 people and infected 17,000 since October. Cases seem to be slowing now.

Health and safety rules are to be enforced by schools – including regular hand-washing.

“Furniture used by students is sanitised before, during, and after classes…The school has an isolation room where children manifesting cholera symptoms will be taken care of whilst waiting for parents to pick them up,” reads a note issued by Nkhwazi primary school’s headmaster Stanley Simwaba.

Parents in Lusaka were clearly relieved to have their children back in school – some even dropped them off long before classrooms opened.

“I am confident that the government has in place measures to ensure the safety of the students and the teaching community,” says Lusaka parent Mutinta Nketani.

“As parents, we are grateful that the ministry of health is working tirelessly to stop the spread, and the drastic reduction in cases and confidence to reopen schools is a testimony to this.”

 

BBC/Jide Johnson.