CHIRUNDU – People travelling from ZIMBABWE to ZAMBIA are reportedly undergoing thorough, and sometimes humiliating screening for the deadly cholera disease.

Temporary base at Chirundu Border Post eight months ago (Pic Star FM)

THE HERALD newspaper in ZIMBABWE says the authorities on the ZAMBIAN side of CHIRUNDU Border Post across the ZAMBEZI are giving laxatives to incoming travellers.

Medical experts say laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and sufficiently high doses of the drugs may cause diarrhoea.

THE HERALD says ZIMBABWEANS going to ZAMBIA, especially passengers travelling on buses, are given laxatives to force them to defecate and facilitate stool testing.

It says the exercise is causing congestion at the border post, as travellers have been seeking to use the toilet before the authorities let them through after the humiliating tests.

Officials in the Ministry of Health and Child Care have taken up the issue with their Permanent Secretary.

MASHONALAND WEST Provincial Medical Director WENCESLAUS NYAMAYARO says he has received a report about the screening by ZAMBIAN authorities at CHIRUNDU.

The latest development comes as the authorities in the ZAMBIAN capital, LUSAKA, are appealing to religious groups to help fight cholera.

The national broadcaster quotes LUSAKA City Council Public Health Acting Director EDGAR MULWANDA as saying groups such as churches should promote the spirit of hygiene among their members.

ZAMBIA has been on high cholera alert since last year, with a report from the International Federation of the RED CROSS in JUNE saying the disease is endemic to the country.

It says outbreaks occur almost every year in the LUSAKA, SOUTHERN, NORTHERN and LUAPULA provinces.

The study also says this year, the outbreak happened just before the rainy season – which is unusual, but it followed a period of inadequate water supply during summer period , which forced more people to use unsafe sources.

In ZIMBABWE, the disease broke out this month in the GLENVIEW and BUDIRIRO high-density suburbs; killing up to 30 people countrywide so far.

ZIMBABWEANS have been crossing the ZAMBEZI almost daily into ZAMBIA over the years to sell different goods and to buy mostly clothing materials for resale back home due to difficulties in their country./Sabanews/cam

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