Health authorities worried over hunger in Machinga amid cholera outbreak


By Brighton Smoke

Health authorities in Machinga have raised a concern over food shortages in many households in the district saying the situation can lead to a rise cases of cholera in the district.

Speaking in an interview on Thursday, Machinga district hospital Public Relations Officer Clifton Ngozo said that due to hunger in the district, people have resorted to eating or drinking food which is readily available to them without following proper hygienic conditions.

“Most households have already finished their harvest, which they harvested in the previous rainy season, so during this hunger season, people eat food anyhow and they don’t even care to use hygienic means, and sometimes they eat food which is exposed to unhygienic conditions,” said Ngozo.

He, however, advised people to continue following guidelines like drinking well treated water, washing hands before eating and avoiding contaminated food.

Commenting to the matter, Public Health expert Professor Maureen Chirwa has warned that the outbreak may worsen during the rainy season should Malawians ignore the public health guidelines enforced by health officials.

She said local councils in Malawi need to put extra gear to provide civic education on sanitation and food hygiene as a measure to prevent the spread of numerous diseases during the season.

“They should make sure that our streets, depots and markets are clean. Sanitation is very important. Let them promote sanitation at every corner of Malawi not the way things are now. As the rain is approaching, it is even more important that everybody should take the responsibility of observing hygienic practices,” said Chirwa.

Speaking on behalf of Machinga district, council chairperson Richard Matenje promised to take their responsibilities seriously by ensuring that markets and all selling points are monitored to avoid the spread of water borne diseases.

“During the rainy season, the country grapples with waterborne diseases such as Cholera and diarrhea due to unhygienic conditions. We don’t want to lose our productive people, we need them to support carrying out number of projects in coming ahead,” explained Matenje.

Follow us on Twitter: