Lilongwe District Health Office has recorded a cholera case in Nathenje in the district following tests carried out on a 54-year-old woman.
District health officer Alinafe Mbewe said the test results for the woman have shown that she has cholera. She has since been quarantined.
The suspect was brought to the attention of medical personnel on Thursday with symptoms and signs of cholera.
She said: “The suspected case we had is confirmed to be cholera, but we have put in place all necessary measures to avoid further spread as the rainy season approaches.”
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango has since called on communities to practice good hygiene to avoid further spread.
He said his ministry is well-equipped on prevention and has encouraged people to report any suspected case early to avoid deaths.
Said Malango: “The best preparation to happen is community engagement and encouraging prevention, which is what we are doing now. So, as we manage the case, we will continue with promoting hygiene.”
Last year, Unicef Malawi said cholera was becoming a serious health hazard, particularly in peri-urban areas due to unhygienic practices and lack of safe water.
But as of April, this year, MoH said it had made strides in controlling a possible cholera outbreak through a number of interventions.
At the time, the country had registered only 13 cases in five districts with one resulting in death.
According to Malango, some of the mechanisms the ministry had implemented include setting up district epidemic management committees and district rapid response teams to investigate and respond to cholera outbreaks, disease surveillance teams to detect any outbreaks and ensuring availability of supplies necessary for cholera prevention.
MoH statistics showed two cases were reported in Blantyre, Chikwawa had one, Nsanje had seven, Mchinji had two and Mwanza had one. One death was reported in Mchinji.
While commending the ministry for keeping cholera at bay, health rights activist Maziko Matemba said there is need to do more to eradicate the disease.
“We know it is possible if they continuously apply lasting strategies such as investment in primary health care approaches but also encouraging integration of interventions with new innovations such as cholera vaccines,” he said.
Last year, cholera affected about 1 000 people and killed 33 in 13 districts after the first case was reported on November 24 2017.