Malawi in fight to contain Cholera as rainy season nears


The Ministry of Health says it will be chaotic if the Cholera outbreak is not contained before the start of the rainy season.

The current outbreak begun in March in districts that were affected by Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe in the southern districts but has now spread to other districts in the central and northern region.

Cholera cases have so far been recorded in 22 districts in the country and a total of 3,891 cases and 110 deaths have been recorded. 3,668 of the cases have recovered but new cases are still being registered, with 87 recorded yesterday.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda addressed the media in Lilongwe yesterday where she said her ministry wants to contain the outbreak before the rainy season when cases usually intensify.

“We are working with our partners to control the outbreak within 60 days before the onset of the rainy season otherwise it will be chaotic,” said Chiponda.

She also urged all stakeholders to get involved actively to stop the disease as well as deaths.

“The common risk factors identified from Cholera cases in this outbreak are unsafe water source and open defecation which leads to poor sanitation,  poor food hygiene. That is why other stakeholders such as Ministry of Water and sanitation has to come in. The media, development partners and everyone else must work hand in hand to stop the disease,“ said Kandodo.

“Let every person take responsibility over this disease by washing hands with soap regularly, eat hygienically prepared food, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and seeking care immediately when one notices or suspect to have symptoms of Cholera.”

WHO country Representative, Dr. Kimambo Neema Rusibamayila, made the remarks on Tuesday during a press briefing in Lilongwe also noted that media is a very important stakeholder in informing and educating the public on health emergencies and obligations like the one at hand.

“While the Government through Ministry of Health is coordinating the Cholera outbreak response, the media can play a big role in bringing awareness to the public on how they can protect themselves from Cholera,” Rusibamayila.

Rusibamayila also said that the outbreak further said that as part of Global Task Force on Cholera Control, WHO is assisting and will continue to assist Malawi Government to acquire adequate oral cholera vaccine doses to protect at risk populations in the affected districts.

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