Scabies outbreak hits NkhataBay  

As the country continues to struggle to contain the spread of Coronavirus, scabies infection is fast spreading in some parts of Nkhata Bay and the district health office laments lack of drugs for the skin disease.

A baby infected by scabies

The highly contagious disease was first spotted in Mtaba area six months ago and it has now spread to several areas such as Sanga, Chiwisi, Buwa and Banda along the lakeshore.

According to Lucy Njikho, whose baby has been infected by the disease, said the baby faces sleepless nights due to itching secondary to sores on the baby’s body.

“The itching of the lesions worsens at night as such my baby cries uncontrollably throughout the night.

The disease has spared no age group but it causes more discomfort amongst the infants,” said Njikho.

Clinical Officer in- Charge of Usisya Health Centre, Roosevelt Njegheje said he reported about the outbreak of the skin disease to Nkhata Bay District Health Office (DHO) immediately the disease was discovered at its early stages when there were just a few cases.

“We reported to the DHO but unfortunately we were told that they had run out of drugs meant for treatment of the disease, “said Njegheje.

He said the facility registers about 10 new cases on daily basis.

However, Njegheje said there is hope that the situation will be addressed since Mtaba Health Centre has started administering drugs for the disease’s treatment courtesy of Temwa Organisation for Sustainable Community Development (TOSCD).

“The drugs are not enough to meet the increasing number of cases,” he said.

In a separate interview, Programs Manager for TOSCD, Kondwani Botha said his organisation will strategize to donate more drugs to meet the requirement on the ground.

“We underestimated the gravity of the problem but will soon come back to donate additional drugs. We run different projects in the affected areas ranging from health, education, agriculture and environment and we are concerned with the welfare of the projects’ beneficiaries,” said Botha.

Meanwhile people are being advised to observe personal hygiene like taking a bath every-day and avoid congestion as the disease is caused by a microscopic mite that spreads fast through contact.

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