Scabies outbreak hits Malawi Capital City

A scabies outbreak has hit the Capital City, Lilongwe, igniting debate of health living standards of its residents.

Scabies is a contagious skin infection

Lilongwe district health officer Richard Mvula said between January and June, Bwaila Hospital has recorded over 4 000 scabies cases.

“These cases are from both the urban and rural areas,” said Mvula.

He said the hospital has since ordered scabies drugs from Central Medical Trust, which he said would be made available to the hospital by the end of this week.

Mvula said other districts hit by the scabies outbreak are Kasungu, Mchinji, Dowa and Machinga, among others.

In Ntcheu, health promotion officer Stella Kawalala said over 80 cases have been reported so far from Matchereza and Kasinje catchment areas.

“So far, Matchereza  has recorded  58  cases  and  Kasinje  25  cases. However, the situation is under control because we  have  launched a mass  scabies treatment [campaign],” she said.

Kawalala said Ntcheu District Health Office has intensified community  education  on  prevention and assessment  of  the  affected  households.

“We are monitoring the situation and ensuring that all cases are treated so that we prevent the further spread of the skin disease,” she said.

Kawalala described the development as worrisome, but was quick to assure people in the district that the health office in collaboration with health surveillance assistants will contain the disease.

Scabies is a contagious, itchy skin condition that spreads through physical contact and occurs due to poor hygiene.

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