The Ministry of Health (MoH) has said the first consignment of a cholera vaccine targeting 108 000 people in Karonga District is expected to arrive in the country today.
The arrival of the vaccine follows the ministry’s request to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have the vaccine programme in the country.
So far, the country has registered about 382 cases of cholera, including five deaths.
In an interview yesterday, MoH spokesperson Joshua Malango said the first consignment of vaccines is targeting three districts.
He said: “We already administered the vaccine in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Lake Chilwa, Dzaleka in Dowa and now we are targeting Nkhata Bay, Mangochi and Karonga.
“In the meantime, interventions remain the same which include community sensitisation, provision of safe water and sanitary facilities, oral cholera vaccine, establishment of treatment centres in affected communities, training of health workers and surveillance.”
Malango said about 600 000 people had received the oral vaccine in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Zomba, Machinga, Salima and at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The outbreak has affected the country’s tourism sector which has seen a reduction in the number of tourists arriving in the country for the past two months.
Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola is on record as having told The Nation last month that tourists, especially those who like cross-border tourism packages, have been cancelling their bookings to the country despite the scale of the outbreak being lower and not as widespread as in Zambia and Tanzania. n