World Mission Fund supports United Church in Zambia response to Cholera Epidemic

07 March 2024

As Methodist people our way of life commitment is to ‘Care for ourselves and others around us.’ That is important on a personal, local and global scale. The World Mission Fund ( ) is one way Methodist in Britain is sharing in that work of caring for our Methodist and Uniting Church community around the world.   

This is one story of that partnership in caring for people caught up in a Cholera epidemic in Zambia.

The United Church of Zambia provides health care across Zambia, running four mission hospitals and seven clinics, located both in urban and isolated rural areas in all corners of the country. The Methodist Church in Britain is proud to support this ministry through the World Mission Fund and the Health Secretary for the United Church of Zambia is MCB Mission Partner, Gina Oliver.

In recent months, there has been a serious outbreak of Cholera in Zambia. The majority of cases occurred in December 2023 and January 2024 with over 13,600 cases in the worst hit area alone – Lusaka.  Since October 2023, the country’s Health Ministry recorded a fatality rate of 4% which is 4 times the World Health Organisation threshold for the disease. In January 2024, the Government closed all schools and opened emergency centres to try to contain the growing epidemic. Today, schools remain closed and there is considerable fear amongst citizens, especially in areas of high population density.

The Health Department of the United Church of Zambia is determined to play its’ part in contributing to the effort to combat the epidemic. Given that poor sanitation is one of the primary means of transmission of the disease, the Health Department reflected carefully on what actions it could implement to assist in addressing the crisis. In an analysis of its institutions, it discovered that three of its’ main health clinics in Lusaka have inadequate sanitary facilities. Therefore, in order to set an example to the wider community and help contain transmission, the Health Department have decided to build new sanitation blocks in 3 Health clinics in the most densely populated areas of the city where the outbreak is at its’ worst.  These blocks will include flushing toilets and washing facilities for both men and women in each of the clinics.

All the staff and patients in the three clinics in the most populated areas of Lusaka city, which receive large numbers of patients, will benefit.  The project aims to address the root cause of the cholera outbreak; to contain the spread of the disease amongst all those who use these clinics in the most populated areas of the city, and will provide long-term healthy hygiene for staff and patients into the future, so providing protection from future outbreaks

The World Mission Fund has disbursed £10,600 to the United Church of Zambia to cover these costs.

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