Malawi receives 2.9 million doses of Cholera Vaccines

Malawi has received a consignment of 2.9 million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) for a single dose reactive campaign to the Cholera outbreak in the country.

The consignment arrives at a critical time as the country continues to respond to the ongoing Cholera outbreak.

As of 6 November, 2022, Malawi had recorded a cumulative 6,868 cholera cases and 203 cholera deaths since the confirmation of the first case in March, 2022. Some 6,398 people had recovered from the disease and 267 were in the treatment camps.

“The OCV campaign that will be carried over the next few weeks is just one of the country’s strategies to strengthen the ongoing cholera response and preparedness in Malawi. The campaign will target 2.9 million Malawians comprising adults and children aged one year and above living in highly affected districts. In addition, we encourage early health seeking behaviour for treatment among all citizens, the provision of safe water and sanitation, and positive hygiene behaviour practices, which are critical to prevent and control the transmission of cholera,” said the Minister of Health, Hon Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners are supporting the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health to strengthen water treatment systems, provide clinical care at dedicated treatment centers established closer to communities, train health care workers, distribute essential medical supplies, and raise awareness on hygiene practices and cholera prevention methods.

WHO through The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision facilitated procurement of these vaccines for the Malawi Government, funded by the Global Alliance of Vaccines (GAVI). UNICEF supported the timely delivery of the vaccines from the Global Emergency Stockpile.

This second campaign will prioritize 14 districts with high number of cholera cases namely Karonga, Rumphi, Mzimba North, Mzimba South, Likoma, Nkhatabay, Chitipa, Lilongwe, Salima, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Nsanje, Zomba, and Blantyre.  The targeted districts have been determined following in-depth analysis of historic and current epidemiological data and current risk factors.

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