Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi on Friday said government has put in place all necessary measures to deal with the cholera situation in the country, which so far has claimed six lives.
The minister said one of the measures was to bring into the country cholera vaccines by end of next week.
Muluzi said this in Parliament when he updated the House on the cholera situation in the country.
The minister said the World Health Organisation (WHO) will deliver the first consignment of 216 000 doses of cholera vaccines before end of next week, which is to be distributed to high risk areas.
Muluzi said the vaccines are just an additional intervention and that the main strategy for cholera control remains use of safe and potable water, good sanitation, and personal hygiene.
“It is now 2018. It is time Malawians start to take responsibility for themselves and their families particularly of their health and hygiene. It is not acceptable to throw rubbish out of the window defaecate in the open or allow your surroundings to fill with detritus,” he said.
The minister said government has also applied for another consignment of vaccine for 450 000 people in hard hit districts of Karonga, Nkhata Bay and Mangochi.
The first diagnosed case of cholera was reported in Karonga on November 24 last year and as of February 9 2017 a total of 420 cases had been reported, out of which 245 were diagnosed in Kalonga where four deaths occurred.
Twenty cases were reported in Nkhata Bay, 18 cases in Salima, 11 cases in Likoma, six in Nsanje, five in Dowa, four each in Mulanje and Rumphi and one each in Blantyre, Kasungu and Chikwawa.
In a separate interview, Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Juliana Lunguzi said much as the minister needs to be commended for the statement, it is worrisome that only a few districts will benefit from the vaccine. n