Public Health Institute of Malawi (Phim) daily cholera updates show that 26 out of the country’s 28 districts that were affected by cholera have managed to contain the outbreak, the first time since March 2022.
The report issued on Saturday, signed by Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, shows that Chikwawa and Mangochi are the only two districts still registering new cases for the past 14 days.
Reads the report in part: “Ministry of Health is glad to note that 26 out of 28 districts have not reported cases of cholera during the past 14 days.
“We are, however, concerned that some sections do not understand the importance of following the recommended cholera preventive and management measures. The aim of these measures is to reduce the further spread of the disease.”
In an interview yesterday, Chikwawa district health promotion officer Settie Piriminta attributed the new cholera cases to the impact of Tropical cyclone, among others.
He said for the past few days, the district has been registering new cholera cases at St. Montfort, Ngabu and Chipwayira in the district.
Said Piriminta: “These areas were affected by both Freddy and Ana where most sanitary facilities were damaged. The other issue is that in the said areas, communities practise winter cropping and they practise open deification in their gardens which has contributed to the situation.”
In a separate interview, Mangochi District chief preventive health officer Dr. Kondwani Mamba attributed new cholera cases to movement of fishers from different parts of the districts for fishing.
He said most fishers have now flocked to Mambo-Soweto Village in Traditional Authority Lulanga where sanitation standards are poor.
“People have flocked to this village because it’s where they are catching a lot of fish. So, most households use water from the lake and some don’t even have pit latrines which worsens the situation,” said Mamba.
Both Piriminta and Mamba said their offices have intensified cholera preventive measures such as health promotion, door to door chlorination and mobile van publicity to end the outbreak.
As of Saturday, the country had recorded 58 979 cholera cases with 1 768 deaths.
Since the onset of the outbreak last year, Lilongwe recorded the highest number of cholera with 12 778 cases and 559 deaths, followed by Blantyre’s 8 932 cases and 227 deaths.
Mangochi recorded 8 511 cases and 124 deaths, Balaka 4 415 cases and 103 deaths, while Rumphi recorded the lowest number of cases as it had 1 051 cases and 17 deaths.