Sigh of relief as 12 Malawians on ‘death bed’ rescued

By Felie Mzumara, Nyasa Times

A sigh of relief has returned to 12 Malawians and their family members who had lost hope of survival after they were bitten by a rabid dog.

The eight people all from the area of Chief Chilowamatambe in central district of Kasungu were beaten last week Friday but failed to access anti rabies vaccine despite visiting a number of health facilities.

The victims visited Chamwavi Health Centre, Kasungu and Ntchisi District Hospitals but were told the facilities had no stock of the anti rabies vaccine.

Instead they were referred to private hospitals to procure the drug on their own but none of them could manage to raise K25 000 (about US$150) for a single dosage.

Chief Chilowamatambe had earlier in the week sent an SOS to government, the NGO community and other well wishers to come to the rescue of his subjects. Initially, the chief reported that only eight people were bitten but the number rose to 12.

Rabies patient

However, the chief’s cry was answered on Thursday when authorities at Kasungu District Hospital, looking at the magnitude of the problem procured the drugs for the victims.

The hospital’s Public Relations Officer Catherine Yoweri confirmed that his office had procured the vaccine to administer on the 12 people.

She further indicated that the Central Medical Stores had sent them a consignment of more anti rabies vaccine to administer on the victims.

“We have indeed bought the vaccine for the people and on top of that we have received another stock from the Central Medical Stores. We have already been in touch with Chief Chilowamatambe about it and we will start administering it on Friday,” she said on Thursday evening.

The development has brought relief to the 12 people and their family members who became hopeless and helpless knowing that rabies kills.

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