Malawi’s Cholera Outbreak Described as Largest in Africa by WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described Malawi’s cholera outbreak as the largest on the African continent. The country has contributed almost 40% of the total cases recorded in 12 African countries affected by or at risk of being affected by cholera.
During a high-level meeting of technocrats from the 14 African countries in Lilongwe, Malawi, WHO Regional Health Security Advisor Ambrose Talisuna shared that Malawi had recorded 51,287 cases out of the 129,295 cases of cholera as of March 5, the highest number among the 12 countries. Talisuna stated that out of the 3,016 deaths recorded in these 12 countries, 1,605 deaths, or 53.2%, were recorded in Malawi.
Talisuna highlighted that Malawi’s outbreak is linked to climate change and cross-border movement. The WHO has urged the 14 African countries to renew their commitment to eliminating cholera epidemics by 2030, as the continent is “lagging behind.” Malawi’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, concurred with Talisuna and expressed hope that the Tithetse Kolera (Let’s End Cholera) Campaign, launched by President Lazarus Chakwera on February 13, would help reduce the number of cholera cases and deaths.
The ministers’ meeting will be officially opened by Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, the current Cholera Elimination Champion, expected to address the meeting via video link. Malawi’s cholera outbreak rem isins a significant public health concern, and urgent action must be taken to contain the disease and prevent further spread.
Still on Malawi’s Cholera outbreak…
Talisuna also mentioned that the meeting of ministers would discuss ways to contain cholera and address other challenges linked to climate change on the continent. The WHO is advocating for the surveillance of cross-border movements and harmonizing interventions with the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Malawi’s Ministry of Health is working with all stakeholders to take the cholera campaign door-to-door, with plans to cover all 49,000 villages in the country. The ministry has urged citizens to practice proper hygiene and sanitation measures to reduce the spread of the disease.
The WHO and other organizations have been providing technical and financial support to Malawi to contain the outbreak. However, urgent action is required to control the disease’s spread, particularly as the rainy season continues. Malawi’s
The Vice President has called for a coordinated response to the outbreak, highlighting the need for partnerships between government, civil society, and international organizations to tackle the disease’s root causes.