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Malawi cholera death toll hits 98

Malawi cholera death toll hits 98
Health Ministry says confirmed cases have reached 3,246 since outbreak was first recorded this year in March

By Moses Michael-Phiri

LILONGWE, Malawi (AA) - The Malawi healthcare service delivery system is being weighed down by the outbreak of cholera, which has killed 98 people since the outbreak was declared in March this year, according to health authorities.

At least 3,246 others have been infected, Ministry of Health said in a statement.

"We are doing all we can to contain the outbreak and our officials are in all affected areas to help the people with health services," Health Ministry Spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe told Anadolu Agency via telephone on Monday.

As of Aug. 25 this year, a total of 12 districts had reported cholera cases, however, by Sept. 26, which is one month later, the number of affected districts had jumped to 22.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has attributed the rise in cases to poor food hygiene, lack of safe water and low latrines coverage and usage.

"However, as government with support from development partners, we have put in place measures to contain the situation. For instance, the ministry is chlorinating water in communities with no safe water, setting up treatment centers and administering oral cholera vaccine," she said in a statement shared with Anadolu Agency.

Recently, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the increasing number of cholera cases, warning that, if the outbreak spreads more, it would overwhelm the already overburdened public healthcare service delivery points.

Health experts have since warned that with the onset of rains expected in October, Malawi, which has a population of about 18 million, could face a "cholera crisis".

source: News Feed
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