from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – AT least 990 people have died from a cholera outbreak devastating Malawi in almost a year.
Humanitarian agencies jointly reported that the cholera outbreak was still out of control with daily reported new cases ranging between 500 and 600.
As of January 23, the number of cumulative cases increased to 29 995 since the outbreak in February 2022.
The case fatality rate is 3,3 percent.
The country is facing its worst cholera outbreak ever recorded, given that in 2001/2002 Malawi reported 968 deaths. This represented a case fatality rate of 2,89 percent.
Heavy rains and thunderstorms, with the threat of flash flooding, particularly across lakeshores and the northern areas have been projected over the next few weeks.
“The situation is likely to exacerbate the risk of cholera transmission and further increase the vulnerability of the already highly food insecure population,” said a humanitarian spokesperson.
On a positive note, the last batch of 3 million doses of oral cholera vaccines (OCV) have all been delivered to at-risk people during the national OCV campaigns.
Partners continue to support the Ministry of Health by providing hygiene and sanitation kits at health facilities and community level, medical supplies and training health workers on cholera case management.
Meanwhile, the outbreak has spilled to neighbouring Mozambique, particularly the northern province of Niassa.
As of January 13, the reports from the Mozambique Ministry of Health indicated a cumulative caseload of 878 confirmed cases and 14 deaths.
This is an 80 percent increase from the number of cases recorded on December 21, which was 409 cases confirmed with seven reported deaths.
– CAJ News