The medical charity Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières has begun the largest-ever oral cholera vaccination project in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, the organization announced Saturday in a statement.
MSF is closely collaborating with the Zambian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to vaccinate more than 570,000 people in two weeks, the statement said.
Eight MSF international staffers, 19 Zambian Ministry of Health personnel and 1,135 community volunteers from Lusaka are conducting the campaign, which began Friday, at 39 sites in four of the most affected townships of Lusaka — Kanyama, Bauleni, George and Chawama.
The goal is to curb a cholera epidemic that began in February in Lusaka’s overpopulated township areas. As of Thursday, 664 cases and 12 deaths had been reported in the city, MSF said.
About 1.2 million people live in overcrowded informal settlements within Lusaka. They are at the highest risk of cholera each rainy season, which normally ends in April.