Health authorities in Chikwawa have said they will embark on a cholera vaccination exercise from next week as a response to the ever increasing cholera cases being registered in the district.
The district has in the past six weeks registered a cholera outbreak which has caused panic and refuses to die with the recent occurrence reported at Chikwawa Secondary School where three have tested positive.
The new cases have brought the number of all people affected by the disease in the district to 36.
Chikwawa District Environmental Health Officer, Veronica Mkukumila attributed the increase in cholera cases to poor hygiene, noting that the three patients who were admitted to Chikwawa District Hospital have since been discharged.
“Apart from Chikwawa Secondary School, the other surrounding villages affected by cholera are Ling’awa in the area of Chief Kasisi, Julius, Lauji, and Chinangwa in the area of Chief Katunga and part of Mulilima,” Mkukumila said in an interview on Thursday.
Mkukumila, therefore, appealed to non – governmental organizations and well wishers to provide more safe drinking water and new toilets at Chikwawa Secondary School to protect the learners from further suffering from waterborne diseases.
“We also went to the school to carry out an awareness meeting on good hygiene practices. From next week, we are intending to conduct a cholera vaccination campaign targeting over 200,000 people in the district,” Mkukumila added.
Chikwawa Secondary School Head teacher, Flora Kaphamtengo alleged that the disease was brought to the school by a form one student believed to have had the cholera strains at home before reporting for classes at the school.
Kaphamtengo, however, disclosed that due to the incident the school management have since scaled up good hygiene activities to ensure no student suffers from cholera again.
“We have taken this as a wake – up call. We have tightened the noose so that no single student contracts cholera again considering that the disease is lethal. We don’t want to lose any of our dear learners,” Kaphamtengo said.
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