Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi on Friday update Malawi Parliament on the cholera situation in the country, which so far has claimed six lives.
Muluzi told the House that the main strategy for cholera control remains use of safe and potable water, good sanitation, and personal hygiene.
He literally explained how people in impoverished areas can have personal hygiene practices especially doing defamation in what he called ‘mponda gear’ methods.
“It is now 2018. It is time Malawians start to take responsibility for themselves and their families particularly of their health and hygiene. It is not acceptable to throw rubbish out of the window defecate in the open or allow your surroundings to fill with detritus,” he said.
The minister said apart from the main strategy, an additional intervention was to bring into the country cholera vaccines by end of next week.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) will deliver the first consignment of 216 000 doses of cholera vaccines before end of next week, which is to be distributed to high risk areas and government has also applied for another consignment of vaccine for 450 000 people in hard hit districts of Karonga, Nkhata Bay and Mangochi.
Muluzi assured that government has put in place all necessary measures to deal with the cholera situation in the country.
In a related development, District Commissioner for Lilongwe, Lawford Palani, on said it was alarming to note how fast the disease was spreading despite efforts by his office, the city assembly and other stakeholders.
“We have noted that negligence, among other causes is the reason why the disease is fast spreading,” he said.
Lilongwe Chief Executive Officer, Moza Manda said it was sad to note that some people ignore the messages being disseminated, hence the continued spread of the disease.
Manda observed that messages are being disseminated but people choose to give a deaf ear simply because they are lazy to do things as instructed by the health personnel visiting their areas.
“We need to join hands and make sure that people understand the need of putting into practice any messages disseminated by the health personnel in the affected areas but also those that are not yet affected.
“Reports indicate that within 15 days, 64 cases have been registered when in actual sense we should have been seeing a decrease. The situation is getting out of hand but we are here to make sure that we contain the situation and this is what we are doing now,” said Manda.
Lilongwe recently registered two deaths of cholera patients where one went to a private clinic and another 10 year old boy was delayed to be taken to the hospital and died on his way.
So far, the areas worst hit by the outbreak in the district are Mchitanjiru, area 36, and Kauma all from Traditional Authority Tsabango. Other areas affected are Chinsapo, Mlombwa, Chadza, Kawale, Mtandile and area 24.
In the meeting, which was held at Lilongwe District Council in the morning, Director of Public Development, Douglass Moffat assured the members present that Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has agreed to supply water in such areas using water bousers up until they drill boreholes.
District Health Officer for Lilongwe, Alinafe Mbewe expressed worry that some cholera camps such as Chilinde are not in operation because it lacks electricity and other basic needs.
“Chilinde cholera camp is lacking some basic needs like electricity, which is forcing us to transfer the patients to Bwaila. It is not healthy for patients to be moved for such a long distance as it is also a threat to the general public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lilongwe District has registered 96 cases of cholera. So far, two people have died from the disease as they were taken to the hospital late.
Lilongwe is one of the districts that have been hit by the outbreak of cholera affecting more than 8 urban areas.
The first diagnosed case of cholera was reported in Karonga on November 24 last year and as of February 9 2017 a total of 420 cases had been reported, out of which 245 were diagnosed in Kalonga where four deaths occurred.
Twenty cases were reported in Nkhata Bay, 18 cases in Salima, 11 cases in Likoma, six in Nsanje, five in Dowa, four each in Mulanje and Rumphi and one each in Blantyre, Kasungu and Chikwawa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :