In a demonstration of collective commitment to serve the Zambian people, the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander, Lt Gen Oscar Msitu Nyoni tasked the General Engineering and Medical Departments to join the efforts by the Ministry of Health, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), Zambia Army and various civilian authorities to combat the ongoing cholera outbreak in Lusaka. ZAF joined the fight and is supporting the healthcare system with manpower and logistical deliveries required to effectively manage and curb the spread of cholera in the capital city.
On 1 January 2024, ZAF deployed their expertise beyond the skies by dedicating a team of medical professionals to augment the healthcare personnel. Clinicians, Nurses, and an Environmental Health Technician (EHT) from the Air Force were stationed at Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital, working alongside civilian healthcare personnel to provide critical medical care to those affected by cholera.
Recognizing the multifaceted challenges posed by the cholera outbreak, ZAF on 26 December 2023 also went a step further by providing a fleet of heavy-duty motor vehicles essential for effective response efforts. Water bowers, cranes, and logistical trucks were deployed to facilitate the timely delivery of supplies, including clean water, medical equipment, and sanitation resources to the affected areas.
The presence of ZAF medical personnel at the frontline not only showcases their commitment to serving the nation but also underscores the collaboration between the military and civilian healthcare sectors.
The specialized medical personnel are instrumental in managing cholera cases, ensuring that affected individuals receive prompt and efficient medical attention.
On the other hand, the provision of heavy duty vehicles demonstrates ZAF’s agility in leveraging its logistical capabilities for public health emergencies. The fleet ensures that the much-needed resources reach the areas most affected by cholera promptly, contributing to a more efficient and coordinated response.
This collaboration marks yet another instance where ZAF demonstrated its role of supporting public health and national emergencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ZAF actively contributed to the nation’s response efforts. Amid the global health crisis, ZAF stepped up to the plate by providing crucial support in the form of an ‘A-rated’ laboratory testing facility. This facility played a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s testing capabilities, ensuring accurate and timely diagnosis of COVID-19 cases.
Furthermore, the Air Force also facilitated the distribution of essential medications, reinforcing its dedication to safeguarding the health and well-being of the Zambian population.
The dual role assumed by ZAF during both the COVID-19 pandemic and the current cholera outbreak underscores the versatility and readiness of the military to collaborate with civilian authorities in times of need. It highlights the Air Force’s ongoing pledge to leveraging its resources and expertise for the greater good of the nation, solidifying its role as a crucial partner in public health and other emergencies.
By combining military precision and civilian expertise, the joint effort maximizes resources, accelerates response times, and establishes a comprehensive strategy to combat the cholera outbreak.
As the collaborative efforts unfold on the ground, ZAF’s involvement serves as a beacon of solidarity in the face of adversity, reinforcing the nation’s resilience and commitment to safeguarding the health of its citizens.
Zambia Air Force – Defend and Support