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BREAKING: Churches Mandated Not To Hold Services Beyond Two Hours

Churches have been mandated not to hold their services beyond two hours, and also not to allow sale of perishable food items within their premises.

The move is influenced by the need to checkmate the cholera outbreak which had been on the rampage in Zambia, media have reported.

A high ranking official of government on churches handed down the directive even as latest reports show that not less than 7, 800 by the last count, had been afflicted by the cholera outbreak..

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The directive, issued by Ndiwa Mutelo, is with a view to minimising further risk of the disease, also advices people to refrain from handshakes and hugs.

Mr Mutelo urged worshippers to also observe basic hygiene etiquettes, amidst 400 new cases and 18 fatalities.

According to the government directive, churches should provide safe drinking water, designated hand washing points, and make available alcohol-based hand sanitisers to their congregants.

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While the government and its agencies are exploiting all available opportunities to checkmate the cholera outbreak, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Medicines Research and Access Platform (MedRap) has made a plea.

It is for government to ensure that focusing attention on the disease, does not hinder the provision of other health services.

MedRap Executive Director Liyoka Liyoka said his appeal, was informed by observation that the cholera outbreak could negatively impact access to and utilisation of facility delivery, antenatal care, HIV care, cancer screening and treatment in health facilities.

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Mr Liyoka said the cholera outbreak is straining the healthcare system and exposing vulnerabilities in sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.

With the high population that turn out in churches, it is considered a vulnerable ground for the contract and spread of diseases like cholera.

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