Schools in Blantyre, Lilongwe to reopen on Tuesday

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Malawi Government through the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and Cholera says primary and secondary schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe will reopen on Tuesday, 17th January, 2023.

Last week, the taskforce delayed the re-opening of second term in the two districts due to Cholera outbreak.

Speaking today, Minister of Health  Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda who is also Co-Chairperson of Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and Cholera said her ministry is working jointly with City Councils and Water Boards, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to  provide safe water in schools, including reconnecting piped water supply to schools that had their water supply disconnected.

She added that they are also  continuing to strengthen provision of sanitary and hand washing facilities in Blantyre and Lilongwe schools and in schools across the country

Kandodo then directed all public and private schools and other education institutions to enforce safe water and sanitation practices using the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Schools and all Education Institutions already made available by the Ministry of Education.

She said all district and city councils should ban, with immediate effect, vending of precooked foods along streets, in local markets and bus depots, within school premises, and such like places, using provisions in their by-laws.

She also urged councils to clean up all centralized refuse dump sites, and or hygienically retire filled up dumpsites,

“[Councils] should close, with immediate effect, all marketing, transport and travel, sporting, religious and entertainment facilities, including those belonging to the local councils, that do not have on-site safe water, functional toilets, organized and hygienic refuse disposal facilities, until the deficiencies are corrected,” she said.

The minister further encouraged local Councils, working through the Ministry of Education, to intensify and act on school inspections of water and sanitation facilities, as an ongoing exercise towards improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities at school institutions

She also urged  urging all public and private employers and responsible officers to enforce safety and health standards, and Cholera preventive and containment measures, at their places of work.

In Malawi, 22,759 Cholera cases and 750 Cholera related deaths have been reported since the onset of the outbreak in March last year.

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