The Ministry of Health is on high alert in Lilongwe after the capital city registered two suspected cases of the deadly waterborne disease cholera in the highly populated township of Kauma.
This brings the number of total cholera cases reported in the country’s hospitals to 129 as of Sunday.
One of the cholera victims has since been discharged while another remains in isolation at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) awaiting results from the Community Health Sciences Unit (CHSU) of the Ministry of Health.
KCH hospital director Dr Jonathan Ngoma confirmed that there were two suspected cases of cholera that reached his facility and they have since put up tents at the hospital to isolate the patients, one of whom has since been discharged.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said the ministry, using various facilities, was trying to establish the source of the cholera and have since intensified sensitisation of the communities in high density areas of the city.
“We have registered two cases from Kauma, one has since been discharged and another still on treatment. The one on treatment is a 50-year-old man who sleeps in the same room with goats and might have become contaminated in that manner,” he said.
He said health workers were targeting highly populated areas such as Mgona and Kauma where they are distributing chlorine and sensitising the community to treat water, even that from boreholes or rainwater.
Lilongwe District Health Office has also intensified surveillance through health surveillance assistants, village health committees and traditional leaders.
“We are focusing on door-to-door awareness in an effort to reach more people and achieve behavioural change,” Malango said.
As of yesterday, there have been 127 reported cases of cholera and three deaths at facilities in Karonga since November 24 last year and five new admissions.
In Nkhata Bay, 16 cholera cases have been registered since Christmas Day with no deaths reported but cholera-prone areas such as Nsanje, Chikwawa and Blantyre as well as communities around Lake Chirwa have not registered any case since the rainy season started.