Ministry of Health has warned people in the country, especially those travelling to Mozambique, to be cautious and practise safe hygiene following reports of a cholera outbreak in that country.
According to Ministry of Health (MoH), as of Saturday, three people from Mozambique were treated for cholera at Gaga Health Centre at Changoima in Chikwawa District close to the Mozambican border.
“These patients tested positive for cholera using Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and the ministry is in the process of confirming the tests at the Community Health Sciences Laboratory in Lilongwe.
“Chikwawa District Health Office is working together with their counterparts on the Mozambique side to control the problem, especially the area where these patients live in Mozambique,” reads part of the statement signed by MoH chief of health services Charles Mwansambo.
MoH also says all health workers and port health officers in the country have been put on alert with increased surveillance of any diarrhoeal cases and that it is also distributing chlorine to the communities for water treatment.
“In addition, the ministry with support from the media, is sending out cholera control information to all the people, including those travelling to the cholera affected places in Mozambique.
“The ministry is doing everything possible to prevent any cholera outbreak that may arise from the visits to this area and also within the country. In Malawi, there has been no cholera case reported this rain season,” Mwansambo says.
For many decades, Malawi has been struggling with cholera.
The country registered the highest cholera cases in 2008/09 where 3 250 cases and 82 deaths were recorded. Since then the trend has been declining.
However, a higher number of cases were also registered in 2015/2016 as over 1 786 and 58 deaths were reported in the 14 affected districts.
This outbreak, which was first reported from Lake Chilwa area, which spreads across Zomba, Phalombe and Machinga districts, lasted for close to a year.