Malawi Fights Against Cholera Outbreak
Malawi confirmed an outbreak of cholera on March 3, 2022, with Machinga district reporting the first cases on February 28, 2022.
Since the onset of the outbreak, a total of 1,607 people have recovered and about 35 were on treatment in various health centers as of August 30, 2022.
Out of 14 affected districts, Blantyre has reported the most cases (518 with 21 deaths), followed by Nkhata Bay with 479 cases and 13 deaths.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health on August 30, 2022, a number of things, including poor food hygiene, lack of clean water, and low toilet coverage and usage, are to blame for the cholera outbreak.
The statement further outlines measures being undertaken by Ministry of Health and communities themselves aimed at containing the outbreak.
According to a statement furnished by District Environmental Officer at Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) Penjani Chunda, government had set up treatment centers in all affected areas to ease mobility challenges for cholera patients.
Penjani added that the Ministry of Health is also administering the ORA vaccination in most parts of the country to contain the spread of the outbreak.
“In order to prevent our patients from having to travel great distances to receive medical attention, we have established treatment centers in all impacted locations. Additionally, we are working with traditional leaders to promote usage of pit latrines and educate community members on how to stay safe,” he clarified.
Penjani, however, hinted that shortage of health personnel is a major challenge, compromising the fight against the cholera outbreak.
Cholera cases have been reported in the districts of Nsanje, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Rumphi, Mzimba and Machinga.