Cholera haunts Karonga: Pregnant woman forced to ‘give birth’

As cholera out-break goes out of reach in Karonga, a  six months old pregnant woman at Fulirwa, the area of senior chief Wasambo was early this week forced to give birth  after affected by the disease, Nyasa Times understands.

A cholera isolated tent set up by Ministry of Health in Karonga.-Photo by Lisa Vintulla Kadango, Mana

Cholera is a predictable and preventable disease transmitted through poor sanitation and hygiene as well as poor preparedness.

The disease, which causes dangerous levels of dehydration, has put women – especially pregnant women – at particular risk.

According to some health officials in the area, the pregnant woman was forced to give birth because cholera puts an enormous extra stress on the body of the pregnant woman and on the unborn baby.

“Studies show that cholera infections during pregnancy can lead to sudden loss of the foetus, premature delivery, stillbirth and an increased mortality and morbidity, both for the baby and the mother,” said a health worker who spoke to Nyasa Times at Fulirwa health centre where the woman delivered her baby/

Cholera cases in Karonga have so far reached 110 in a space of one month, with two deaths recorded so according to District environmental health officer Lewis Mtukula.

The most affected areas in the district include Ngala, Fulirwa, Nyungwe, Iponga and Kaporo.

Mtukula said  the major problem is that people are resisting chage as they continue to drink water from polluted source.

“What is needed is behaviour change,” Mtukula said.

Karonga is also yet to get cholera vaccine.

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