CHAPTER 295
PUBLIC HEALTH ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ADMINISTRATION

   3.   Repealed

   4.   Repealed

   5.   Repealed

   6.   Repealed

   7.   Repealed

   8.   Repealed

PART III
NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

   9.   Notifiable infectious diseases

   10.   Notification of infectious diseases

   11.   Medical Officers of Health to transmit return of notifications

   12.   Regulations for the notification of infectious diseases

   13.   Fees for certificates

   14.   Notices and certificates

PART IV
PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

   15.   Inspection of infected premises and examination of persons suspected to be suffering from infectious diseases

   16.   Duty of Local Authority to cause premises to be cleansed and disinfected

   17.   Destruction of infected bedding, etc.

   18.   Provision of means of disinfection

   19.   Provision of conveyance for infected person

   20.   Removal to hospital of infected person

   21.   Penalty for escaping when detained

   22.   Penalty on exposure of infected persons and things

   23.   Penalty on failing to provide for disinfection of public conveyance

   24.   Penalty for letting infected house

   25.   Duty of person letting house lately infected to give true information

   26.   Notification to Local Authority of persons dying of infectious disease

   27.   Removal and burial of bodies of persons who have died of an infectious disease

   28.   Regulations regarding infectious diseases

PART V
SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING FORMIDABLE EPIDEMIC DISEASE

   29.   Formidable epidemic, endemic or infectious diseases

   30.   Regulations for prevention of disease

   31.   Local Authority to see to the execution of regulations

   32.   Power of entry

   33.   Minister may combine Local Authorities

   34.   Notification of sickness or mortality in animals suspected of plague

   35.   Medical Officers of Health to report notification of formidable epidemic diseases by telegraph

   36.   Director of Medical Services may requisition buildings, equipment, etc.

PART VI
PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF SMALLPOX

   37.   Interpretation of terms in Part VI

   38.   Vaccination certificates

   39.   Vaccination every three years

   40.   Emergency vaccination of population in areas threatened with smallpox

   41.   If adult or child be unfit for vaccination, certificate to be given

   42.   Certificate of insusceptibility to be given

   43.   Certificate to be given for successful vaccination

   44.   No fee to be charged for a certificate or for vaccination by public vaccinator

   45.   Vaccination of inmates of institutions

   46.   School attendance

   47.   Supply of vaccine lymph and inoculation from arm to arm, etc., forbidden

   48.   Regulations under Part VI

PART VII
PREVENTION OF INTRODUCTION OF DISEASE

   49.   Introduction of infectious disease

   50.   Removal of infected persons from railway trains

   51.   Surveillance or isolation of persons exposed to infection

   52.   Powers of authorised medical officers to inspect railway trains and medically examine passengers

   53.   Special medical officers to inspect railway trains, etc.

   54.   Powers to enforce precautions at borders

   55.   Agreements with other Governments regarding reciprocal notification of outbreaks

   56.   Government not to be liable to pay compensation in exercise of powers of Act if reasonable precautions used

PART VIII
VENEREAL DISEASES AND LEPROSY

   57.   Venereal diseases and leprosy

   58.   Infected employees

   59.   Conveyance of infection an offence

   60.   Detention in hospital of infected person

   61.   Rights of persons detained in hospital

   62.   Publication of advertisements of cures

   63.   Regulations under Part VIII

PART IX
SANITATION AND HOUSING

   64.   Nuisances prohibited

   65.   Duties of Local Authorities to maintain cleanliness and prevent nuisances

   66.   Duty of Local Authorities to prevent or remedy danger to health arising from unsuitable dwellings

   67.   What constitutes a nuisance

   68.   Notice to remove nuisance

   69.   Procedure in case owner fails to comply with notice

   70.   Penalties in relation to nuisances

   71.   Court may order Local Authority to execute works in certain cases

   72.   Examination of premises

   73.   Demolition of unfit dwellings

   74.   Prohibition in respect of back-to-back dwelling, and rooms without through ventilation

   75.   Regulations under Part IX

PART X
PROTECTION OF FOODSTUFFS

   76.   Construction and regulation of buildings used for the storage of foodstuffs

   77.   No person shall reside or sleep in any room in which foodstuffs are stored, etc.

PART XI
WATER AND FOOD SUPPLIES

   78.   Duty of Local Authority as to pollution of water supplies

   79.   Sale of unwholesome food prohibited

   80.   Seizure of unwholesome food

   81.   Penalty

   82.   Regulations under Part XI

   83.   Minister’s power to make orders on advice of Board

PART XII
PREVENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF MOSQUITOES

   84.   Breeding places of mosquitoes to be nuisances

   85.   Yards to be kept free from bottles, whole or broken, etc.

   86.   Clearance of bush or long grass

   87.   Wells, etc., to be covered

   88.   Cesspits to be screened

   89.   Larvae, etc., may be destroyed

   90.   Mere presence of mosquito larvae an offence

PART XIII
CEMETERIES

   91.   Cemeteries to be appointed

   92.   List of authorised cemeteries

   93.   Permit to exhume

   94.   Directions for removal or covering over of graves for public or mining purposes

   95.   Record of permit for exhumation

   96.   Closing of cemeteries by Minister

   97.   Reimbursement of expenses to Board

PART XIV
GENERAL

   98.   Basements not to be occupied without permission

   99.   Lodging-houses to be registered and the keeper licensed

   100.   Nursing homes to be licensed

   101.   Board may apply to Minister for land for additional public latrines

   102.   Control of crops and irrigation

   103.   Supervision of importation or manufacture of vaccines, etc.

PART XV
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   104.   Notices, etc., may be printed or written

   105.   Service of notices

   106.   Powers and duties of officers of Health Department

   107.   Defect in form not to invalidate notices, etc.

   108.   Powers of entry and inspection of premises and penalties for obstruction

   109.   Penalties where not expressly provided

   110.   Liability of secretary or manager of company

   111.   Proceedings against several persons

   112.   Prosecutions

   113.   Power of Local Authority outside its district

   114.   Regulations

   115.   Power to proceed where cause of nuisance arises without district

   116.   Emergency powers of Local Authority

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for the prevention and suppression of diseases and generally to regulate all matters connected with public health in Zambia.

[11th April, 1930]

Act 12 of 1930,

Act 34 of 1930,

Act 1 of 1931,

Act 36 of 1933,

Act 9 of 1934,

Act 9 of 1937,

Act 38 of 1938,

Act 9 of 1939,

Act 14 of 1941,

Act 27 of 1941,

Act 64 of 1953,

Act 17 of 1957,

Act 44 of 1957,

Act 12 of 1961,

Act 47 of 1963,

Act 51 of 1963,

Act 57 of 1964,

Act 36 of 1965,

Act 69 of 1965,

Act 14 of 1966,

Act 61 of 1967,

Act 25 of 1969,

Act 49 of 1970,

Act 22 of 1972,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 22 of 1995,

GN 291 of 1964,

GN 497 of 1964,

GN 500 of 1964,

SI 163 of 1965.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Health Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“adult” means a person who is over or appears to be over eighteen years of age;

“approved” and “prescribed” mean respectively approved or prescribed by the Minister or the Board or by the appointed officers or by the regulations framed under this Act, as the case may be;

“basement” includes any cellar, vault or underground room;

“Board” means the Central Board of Health constituted under this Act;

“building” includes any structure whatsoever, whether permanent or temporary;

“burial” means the burial in earth, interment or any other form of sepulture or the cremation or any other mode of disposal of a dead body, and “buried” has a corresponding meaning;

“child” means a person who is under or appears to be under eighteen years of age;

“dairy” includes any farm-house, cow-shed, milk-stall, milk-shop or other place from which milk is supplied or in which milk is kept or used for purposes of sale or manufactured into butter, cheese, dried milk or condensed milk for sale;

“dairyman” includes any cow-keeper, purveyor of milk, or occupier of a dairy, and in cases where a dairy is owned by a corporation or company the secretary or other person actually managing such dairy;

“district” means, in relation to a Local Authority, the area which is under the jurisdiction of that Local Authority;

“drain” means any drain used for the drainage of one building only, or of premises within the same curtilage and made merely for the purpose of communicating therefrom with a cesspool or other like receptacle for drainage, or with a sewer, into which the drainage of two or more buildings or premises occupied by different persons is conveyed;

“dwelling” means any house, room, shed, hut, cave, tent, vehicle, vessel or boat or any other structure or place whatsoever, any portion whereof is used by any human being for sleeping or in which any human being dwells;

“factory” means any building or part of a building in which machinery is worked by steam, water, electricity or other mechanical power, for the purposes of trade;

“food” means any article used for food or drink other than drugs or water, and any article intended to enter into or be used in the preparation of such food, and flavouring matters and condiments;

“guardian” means any person having, by reason of the death, illness, absence or inability of the parent or any other cause, the custody of a child;

“Health Inspector” means a Health or Sanitary Inspector in the employment of the Government or of any Local Authority, and includes any person appointed by the Director of Medical Services to act as such within the district of one or more Local Authorities;

“infected” means suffering from, or in the incubation stage of, or contaminated with the infection of, any infectious disease;

“infectious disease” means any disease (not including any venereal disease except gonorrhoeal ophthalmia) which can be communicated directly or indirectly by any person suffering therefrom to any other person;

“isolated” means the segregation and the separation and the interdiction of communication with others of persons who are or are suspected of being infected; and “isolation” has a corresponding meaning;

“keeper of a lodging-house” means any person keeping an hotel or lodging-house;

“land” includes any right over or in respect of land or any interest therein;

“latrine” includes privy, urinal, earth closet and water closet;

“Local Authority” means—

      (a)   in the area of a city council, a Municipal Council, Township Council, such council;

      (b)   in any other area, the District Secretary for the District in which such area is situate;

“lodging-house” includes an hotel and any building or part of a house including the verandah thereof, if any, which is let or sublet in lodgings or otherwise, either by storeys, by flats, by rooms, or by portions of a room;

“medical observation” means the segregation and detention of persons under medical supervision;

“Medical Officer of Health” means the Director of Medical Services, any Government Medical Officer, any medical practitioner appointed by the Director of Medical Services to act as Medical Officer of Health in any area specified in such appointment, and the Medical Officer of Health of a city council, Municipal Council or Township Council;

“medical practitioner” means a person registered under the Medical and Allied Professions Act;

“medical surveillance” means the keeping of a person under medical supervision. Persons under such surveillance may be required by the Medical Officer of Health or any duly authorised officer to remain within a specified area or to attend for medical examination at specified places and times;

“occupier” includes any person in actual occupation of land or premises without regard to the title under which he occupies and, in case of premises subdivided and let to lodgers or various tenants, the person receiving the rent payable by the lodgers or tenants whether on his own account or as an agent for any person entitled thereto or interested therein;

“offensive trade” includes the trade of blood-boiler, bone-boiler, fellmonger, soap-boiler, tallow-melter, tripe-boiler and any other noxious or offensive trade, business or manufacture declared by the Minister, by statutory notice, to be a noxious or offensive trade;

“owner”, as regards land or any interest therein, includes any person, other than the President, receiving the rent or profits of any lands or premises from any tenant or occupier thereof or who would receive such rent or profits if such land or premises were let whether on his own account or as agent for any person, other than the President, entitled thereto or interested therein. The term includes any lessee or licensee from the State and any superintendent, overseer or manager of such lessee or licensee residing on the holding;

“parent” includes the father and mother of a child, whether legitimate or not;

“premises” includes any building or tent together with the land on which the same is situated and the adjoining land used in connection therewith, and includes any vehicle, conveyance or vessel;

“public building” means a building used or constructed or adapted to be used either ordinarily or occasionally as a place of public worship or as a hospital, college, school, theatre, public hall or as a place of assembly for persons admitted by ticket or otherwise, or used or adapted to be used for any other public purpose;

“public latrine” means any latrine to which the public are admitted on payment or otherwise;

“Sanitary Inspector” means a Health or Sanitary Inspector in the employment of the Government or of any Local Authority, and includes any person appointed by the Director of Medical Services to act as such within the district of one or more Local Authorities;

“slaughter-house” means the premises set apart for the purpose of a slaughter-house by a Local Authority; “pig slaughter-house” means the premises set apart by a Local Authority for the slaughtering of pigs; and “meat inspector” means the person employed by any Local Authority to act as meat inspector or other qualified person authorised by it to act in that behalf;

“stock” means and includes all domesticated animals of which the flesh or milk is used for human consumption;

“street” means any highway, road or sanitary lane, or strip of land reserved for a highway, road or sanitary lane, and includes any bridge, footway, square, court, alley or passage whether a thoroughfare or not or a part of one;

“trade premises” means any premises (other than a factory) used or intended to be used for carrying on any trade or business;

“verandah” includes any stage, platform or portico projecting from the main wall of any building;

“Veterinary Officer” means a veterinary surgeon in the employment of the Government;

“workshop” means any building or part of a building in which manual labour is exercised for purposes of trade.

[S 2 am by Act 34 of 1930; 9 of 1939; 27 of 941; 64 of 1953; 51 of 1963; GN 291 of 1964; Act 69 of 1965; SI 163 of 1965; Act 14 of 1966.]

PART II
ADMINISTRATION

3.   …

[S 3 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

4.   …

[S 4 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

5.   …

[S 5 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

6.   …

[S 6 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

7.   …

[S 7 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

8.   …

[S 8 rep by Act 22 of 1995.]

PART III
NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

9.   Notifiable infectious diseases

   (1) The provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, shall, so far as they concern notifiable infectious diseases, apply to anthrax, blackwater fever, epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis or cerebro-spinal fever, asiatic cholera, diphtheria or membranous croup, dysentery, enteric or typhoid fever (including para-typhoid fever), erysipelas, glanders, leprosy, plague, acute anterior poliomyelitis, puerperal fever (including septicaemia, pyaemia, septic pelvic cellulitis or other serious septic condition occurring during the puerperal state), rabies, relapsing fever, scarlatina or scarlet fever, sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis, smallpox or any disease resembling smallpox, typhus fever, all forms of tuberculosis which are clinically recognisable apart from reaction to the tuberculin test, undulant fever and yellow fever.

   (2) The Minister may, by statutory notice—

      (a)   declare that any infectious disease other than those specified in sub-section (1) shall be notifiable diseases under this Act;

      (b)   declare that only such provisions of this Act as are mentioned in such notice shall apply to any notifiable infectious disease;

      (c)   restrict the provisions of this Act, as regards the notification of any disease, to the district of any Local Authority or to any area defined in such notice.

[S 9 am by Act 9 of 1937; 51 of 1963.]

10.   Notification of infectious diseases

   (1) Where an inmate of any building in Zambia used for human habitation is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease, unless such building is a hospital in which persons suffering from any notifiable infectious diseases are received, the following provisions shall have effect—

      (a)   the head of the family to which such inmate (in this Act referred to as “the patient”) belongs, and in his default the nearest relatives of the patient present in the building or in their default the person in charge of or in attendance on the patient, and in default of any such person the occupier of the building shall, as soon as he becomes aware that the patient is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease to which this Act applies, send notice thereof to the nearest Medical Officer of Health;

      (b)   whenever any child attending any school, orphanage or like institution, or any person residing in any hotel, boarding-house or other like institution, shall be known to be suffering from any infectious disease (whether such infectious disease is specified in this Act or not) the principal or person in charge of such school, orphanage or other like institution, or the manager or proprietor or person in charge of such hotel, boarding-house or other like institution shall forthwith send notice thereof to the nearest Medical Officer of Health and shall furnish to him on his request a list of scholars or residents thereat, together with their addresses;

      (c)   every medical practitioner attending on or called in to visit a patient shall forthwith, on becoming aware that the patient is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease to which this Act applies, send to the nearest Medical Officer of Health a certificate stating the name of the patient, the situation of the building and the notifiable infectious disease from which, in the opinion of such medical practitioner, the patient is suffering;

      (d)   in any case in which a medical practitioner has been called in, the obligation to notify an infectious disease shall rest on such medical practitioner only;

      (e)   every medical practitioner who becomes aware, by post-mortem examination or otherwise, that any person has died of a notifiable infectious disease shall immediately furnish a written certificate thereof to the nearest Medical Officer of Health and shall also inform the head of the household or the occupier of the premises or any person who has been in attendance on such diseased person of the infectious nature of the disease and the precautions to be taken to prevent its conveyance to others.

   (2) Every person required by this section to give a notice or certificate who fails to give the same, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred and twenty penalty units:

Provided that if a person is not required to give notice in the first instance, but only in default of some other person, he shall not be liable to any fine if he satisfies the court that he had reasonable cause to suppose that the notice had been duly given.

[S 10 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

11.   Medical Officers of Health to transmit return of notifications

Every Medical Officer of Health shall at the end of each month and on a form to be prescribed, transmit to the Director of Medical Services particulars of all cases of infectious diseases notified to him during the month, and all information which he may possess as to the outbreak or prevalence of any infectious communicable or preventable disease in his district.

[S 11 am by Act of 1937.]

12.   Regulations for the notification of infectious diseases

The Minister may, in respect of the notification of infectious disease, by statutory instrument, make regulations as to—

      (a)   the duties of owners or occupiers of land, the owners or managers of mines, employers of labour and all chiefs or headmen or others in regard to reporting the occurrence of any infectious disease;

      (b)   the duties of the person in charge of any school, orphanage or similar institution in regard to the reporting of such diseases or any other communicable disease specified in the regulations to the Local Authority;

      (c)   the circumstances in which notification of particular infectious diseases shall not be required;

      (d)   the duties of the Local Authority in respect of the keeping of registers and records of such notifications;

      (e)   the duties of Registrars of Deaths in respect of furnishing the Local Authority with notification of return of deaths notified with such Registrars;

      (f)   the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by medical practitioners when making such notifications to the Medical Officer of Health;

      (g)   the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by the Medical Officer of Health when transmitting returns and reports to the Director of Medical Services;

and generally for better carrying out the provisions and attaining the objects and purposes of this Part. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any such regulation shall be guilty of an offence.

[S 12 am by Act of 1937.]

13.   Fees for certificates

The Local Authority where such is a city council, a Municipal Council, or a Township Council and in all other cases the Government shall pay to every medical practitioner, other than a Government Medical Officer, for each certificate duly sent in by him in accordance with this Act a fee of twenty-five ngwee if the case occurs in his private practice. For the purposes of this section, private practice does not include practice among agricultural or industrial employees or their dependants in cases where the employer pays to the medical practitioner a whole or part- time salary or retaining fee for his services to such employees or their dependants.

[S 13 am by Act 9 of 1937, 51 of 1963, 69 of 1965.]

14.   Notices and certificates

A notice or certificate to be sent to a Medical Officer of Health in pursuance of this Act, may be sent by being delivered to the officer or being left at his office or residence, or may be sent by post addressed to him at his office or his residence.

PART IV
PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

15.   Inspection of infected premises and examination of persons suspected to be suffering from infectious diseases

A Medical Officer of Health may at any time enter and inspect any premises in which he has reason to believe that any person suffering or who has recently suffered from any infectious disease is or has recently been present, or any inmate of which has recently been exposed to the infection of any infectious disease, and may medically examine any person in such premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether such person is suffering or has recently suffered from any such disease.

16.   Duty of Local Authority to cause premises to be cleansed and disinfected

   (1) Where any Medical Officer of Health is of opinion that the cleansing and disinfecting of any building or part thereof, and of any articles therein likely to retain infection, would tend to prevent or check infectious disease, it shall be his duty to give notice in writing to the owner or occupier of such building or part thereof specifying the steps to be taken to cleanse and disinfect such building or part thereof and articles within a specified time in such notice.

   (2) If a person to whom notice is given fails to comply therewith, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding three hundred penalty units for every day during which he continues to make default; and the Local Authority or Medical Officer of Health may cause such building or part thereof and articles to be cleansed and disinfected, and may recover, by civil process, the expenses incurred from the owner or occupier in default.

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