Cholera death toll has risen to eight from seven last week after one patient died yesterday in Salima.
Besides, the number of cholera cases in the 13 affected districts has also risen to 512 as of yesterday from 488, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health (MoH).
MoH spokesperson Joshua Malango in an interview yesterday confirmed the news.
He said: “Indeed there has been another death in Salima as of today [yesterday]. This is the first death in the district following [similar deaths in] Karonga and Lilongwe.”
As of yesterday, 24 new cholera cases were also reported from three districts; 10 in Lilongwe, 10 in Salima and four in Karonga. Currently, 32 cholera patients are still admitted at treatment centres in Lilongwe, Salima, Likoma Island, and Karonga.
Other districts affected by the outbreak include Kasungu, Dowa, Nkhata Bay, Mulanje, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Rumphi,, Blantyre and Dedza.
Out of the four cases reported in Karonga, St Anne’s and Lupembe had one case each while Karonga District Hospital had two.
In Lilongwe, out of the 10 cases reported, eight were at Bwaila, one at Area 18 and another in Chilinde whereas for Salima, nine cases were reported at Salima District Hospital and one at Khombedza.
Meanwhile, the ministry is from today expected to start administering a cholera vaccine in Karonga District which has a cumulative number of 271 reported cases, the highest of all the districts affected.
The first consignment of the vaccine, which arrived in the country two weeks ago, is targeting 108 000 people in the district.
Malango also told The Nation in an earlier interview that the ministry is rolling out numerous interventions which include community sensitisation through health education, provision of safe water and sanitary facilities and oral cholera vaccination to help in controlling the outbreak.
The first case of cholera was reported in Karonga on November 24 last year, and to date, it has claimed eight lives; four in Karonga, three in Lilongwe and one in Salima.
In his ministerial statement on the outbreak in Parliament recently, Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi expressed optimism that additional vaccines would further help in controlling the spread of the disease, particularly in high-risk areas. n