WHO: Malawi Receives 2.9 Million Cholera Oral Vaccine Doses As Outbreak Spreads

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday said Malawi has received 2.9 million doses of oral cholera vaccine as an outbreak continues to spread across the country, reported The Reuters.

The oral vaccine is recommended to contain Cholera outbreaks and to limit the further spread of the disease.

The WHO declared a cholera outbreak after laboratory confirmation of a cholera case in Machinga district hospital on 2 March 2022.

The UN health body said the current outbreak is the largest epidemic reported in Malawi in the past 10 years.

Malawi’s Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the oral vaccination campaign will be carried out in the country in the coming few weeks. He said that the campaign is among one of the country’s strategies to strengthen the ongoing cholera response and preparedness.

He informed that the vaccination campaign will target 2.9 million Malawians comprising of adults and children aged one year and above living in highly cholera-affected regions.

The health minister encouraged early health seeking behaviour for treatment, the provision of safe water and sanitation, and positive hygiene behaviour practices, which are improtant to prevent and control the transmission of cholera.

This is the second time that Malawi has received a cholera vaccine consignment with support from GAVI, ICG, UNICEF and WHO. The first campaign, which was undertaken in May 2022, reached over one and half million people.

According to the WHO, the second campaign will prioritize 14 districts with high number of cholera cases including Karonga, Rumphi, Mzimba North, Mzimba South, Likoma, Nkhatabay, Chitipa, Lilongwe, Salima, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Nsanje, Zomba, and Blantyre.

As of Monday, November 7, Malawi has recorded 6,253 cholera cases and 188 deaths from 27 affected districts. The outbreak’s Case Fatality Rate is at 3.0 percent with a total of 6,201 people having recovered, and 319 still in the country’s treatment centres.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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