Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, and can lead to dehydration and kill within hours if left untreated. People with low immunity – such as malnourished children or people living with HIV – are at a greater risk of death if infected “WHO, Cholera 2011”. The symptoms of cholera include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, and severe dehydration. Diarrhoea due to cholera often has a pale, milky appearance that resembles water in which rice has been rinsed, also known as rice-water stool.
The signs and symptoms of cholera in children are similar to adults but they may also experience fever, extreme drowsiness, convulsions or even coma’s. Only about 1 in 10 infected people develop the typical signs and symptoms of cholera, usually within a few days of infection.The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, urbanisation, conflict zones and famine. In the twenty-first century, sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of global cholera. The region is broadly affected by many cholera cases and outbreaks that can spread across countries, “Cholera: a new homeland in Africa 2011”. Here are some effective ways to protect yourself:
- Drink and use safe water
- Bottled water with unbroken seals and canned/bottled carbonated beverages are safe to drink and use.
- Use safe water to brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, and to make ice.
- Clean food preparation areas and kitchenware with soap and safe water and let dry completely before reuse.
To be sure water is safe to drink and use:
- Boil it or treat it with a chlorine product .
- If boiling, bring your water to a complete boil for at least 1 minute.
- To treat your water with chlorine, use one of the locally available treatment products and follow the instructions.
- Always store your treated water in a clean, covered container.
*Piped water sources, drinks sold in cups or bags, or ice may not be safe and should be boiled or treated with chlorine.
- Wash your hands often with soap and safe water
- Before you eat or prepare food
- Before feeding your children
- After using the toilet
- After cleaning your child’s bottom
- After taking care of someone ill with diarrhoea
- Use a toilet , latrine or bury your faeces (poop); do not defecate in any body of water
- Use proper chemical toilets, to dispose of faeces.
- Wash hands with soap and safe water after defecating.
- Clean toilets and surfaces contaminated with faeces using a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.
- Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot and peel fruits and vegetables
- Boil it, Cook it, Peel it, or Leave it.
*Avoid raw foods other than fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
- Clean up safely—in the kitchen and in places where the family bathes and washes clothes
- Wash yourself, your children and clothes, 30 meters (98 feet) away from drinking water sources.
At Nkwashi we understand that what makes up a good home is not just location or size but most fundamentally a proper water and sewer reticulation system. That not only enhances people’s quality of life but also guarantees it. Nkwashi once complete will lay down a water and sewer reticulation system that will ensure that crisis’s like the one being currently experienced in Lusaka return to being labeled a “medieval disease”. Lusaka has an array of “cheap” plots but unfortunately they are just that, cheap! They have no real value except that of a mere piece of land which is not serviced, only has a dirt road (if at all), no water and sewerage access, meaning drilling your own borehole and digging your own sceptic tank, next to neighbours who also have their own boreholes and sceptic tanks. Essentially everyone is poisoning the ground water and subsequently people are drinking water contaminated with toilet waste. This has further fuelled the spread of cholera in Lusaka which will only get worse if the status quo continues. To top it all these areas have no communal security, schools in close proximity or proper garbage disposal systems. These areas are basically middle class shanty compounds. Visit Nkwashi and learn about how you can buy a luxury plot on a very affordable payment plan and get started building your dream home with help from the best architects in Africa.