Malawi’s Health Ministry Informs 110 Dead In Cholera Outbreak Since March
Malawi’s health ministry on Monday announced the number of deaths from cholera in the country rose to 183 at October end from 110 at the beginning of the month, reported The Reuters.
In a statement, the health ministry said the infection rate has been rising, with the cumulative number of cases since the outbreak began in March now at 6,056. The disease has affected 26 out of the 29 districts of the country.
Cholera is contracted from a germ that is generally transmitted through contaminated food or water. It can be especially dangerous for young children. It causes uncontrollable diarrhoea that, if left untreated, can lead to severe dehydration and death.
Malawi’s health ministry attributed the deaths to poor food hygiene among the communities, lack of safe water and a lack of and improper use of toilets.
According to Malawi’s Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda, some patients were avoiding medical treatment for religious reasons, while others were visiting hospitals when it was already late.
He appealed to religious institutions to encourage people to seek proper health services to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned that Malawi was on the verge of a public health crisis.
Last Tuesday, the WHO donated cholera kits and medical supplies to the Ministry of Health in Malawi to step up its cholera outbreak response before the onset of the rainy season.
The WHO country representative for Malawi Dr Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo made the official handover of the supplies worth over USD190,000 to Malawi’s Minister of Health Kandodo Chiponda in Lilongwe.
According to the WHO, cholera can be easily treated with oral rehydration solution, but more severe cases may require intravenous fluids and antibiotics. The disease has affected between 1.3 million and four million people each year globally, causing more than 143,000 deaths.