Climate Health Medical

Cholera deaths cross 500 in Malawi; schools remain closed


HQ team

January 2, 2023: Cholera deaths in Malawi have crossed 500 in the latest outbreak that started in March of 2022. The number of infections has crossed 17 thousand, with the mortality rate increasing to 3.34 per cent, according to the health ministry.

In an attempt to curb the infection, the government has postponed the reopening of primary schools in two major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe of the country.  .

“Due to the continuing increase of cholera cases and deaths in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe, primary and secondary schools in the two cities will not start on 3rd January as earlier advised,” Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda said in a statement.

“For all other learners in all health districts, the respective authorities should enhance compliance with recommended cholera control measures, including cholera vaccination for those that have not yet been vaccinated,” the country’s presidential task force on coronavirus and cholera said in another statement.

Cholera vaccine

Cholera is endemic in Malawi, with seasonal outbreaks reported during the wet season.

The current outbreak has affected 27 out of 29 districts of Malawi and is the largest outbreak reported in the country in the past 10 years.

Malawi has a population of 18 million people, and subsistence farming is the main occupation. However, the food security situation is precarious because of climate change effects. Climate change has resulted in unprecedented flooding and has displaced a huge population which has exacerbated the problem.

Health minister Khumbize Chiponda urged people in worst-hit areas to get vaccinated. According to official numbers, 13 out of 15 district earmarked for the cholera vaccine have received 83.6% coverage.

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