Zomba District Health Office has vaccinated 120 000 people against cholera in the Lake Chilwa catchment area during an exercise carried out between April 19 and May 14 2021.
Zomba District health promotion officer Arnold Mndalira said the exercise targeted 168 000 people and that the coverage represented 71.2 percent reach.
He said during the first dose, many people were not willing to get the vaccine, a situation which forced the health office to conduct awareness activities that saw a sharp rise during the second dose.
Mndalira said: “Upon seeing people’s unwillingness to receive cholera vaccine during the administration of the first dose, we intensified sensitisation campaigns where we dwelled much on the dangers of cholera and the importance of taking the vaccine.
“It was exciting to see huge numbers of people coming forward to take the vaccine and as I speak, some people only received the first dose and are now waiting for the second one.”
He said the cholera vaccine is administered to reduce incidents of the disease in the area and expressed hope that people from Lake Chilwa area have been safeguarded against the disease.
“The last vaccine was administered five years ago and since then, we have had no cholera case and we expect the same to happen this time around,’’ Mndalira said.
He said the challenge during the recent administration of the cholera vaccine was that it was done alongside the Covid-19 vaccine; hence, people were confused.
Cholera is one of the deadly waterborne diseases. Profuse diarrhoea and vomiting are some of the symptoms of the disease.
The areas reached out with the vaccine included Matiya, Chisi, Chigumula, Ngotangota Islands and Likangala.