In October 2017, the Zambian Health Minister declared that the country was suffering a cholera outbreak. Israel was the first country in the world to send international aid to a country in crisis. Watch the video below to see how Israel helps Zambia, and learn more about Israel’s international aid!
Zambia is located in southern Africa and has a population of 17.3 million people. It shares borders with Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It’s an undeveloped country: more than 35% of people cannot access clean water, and up to 50% have no toilets or showers. Almost 90% of the population live on less than $1 a day.
Cholera is a bacterial disease caused by vibrio cholerae. Contaminated waters carry the disease. Cholera infects its victims’ intestines causing vomiting and diarrhoea; this causes shock and dehydration which can kill within hours. Crowded places with poor hygiene are perfect breeding grounds for cholera – so Zambia’s outbreak quickly became an epidemic. The country was desperate for help.
Israel answered the call and was the first country in the world to offer international aid. Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan sent an emergency medicine team to Zambia. It included tropical medicine experts, a water engineer, lab technicians, and nurses. They set up a field hospital and testing lab, and also found the source of contamination. The Israeli team helped the Zambian doctors care for more than 100 new patients every day. Their efforts saved thousands of lives and eventually stopped the disease from spreading!
The Director General of Sheba Medical Center issued a statement:
“Sheba Medical Center’s goal, which echoes the ethos of Israel, is to save lives and make a positive global impact”.
Israel helps Zambia – and other countries around the world – manage their crises whenever help is needed. What better way to demonstrate the remarkable humanity and compassion that is the Heart of Israel?