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Malawi: Cholera Season Update

Govt. Malawi
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Cholera season in Malawi starts on 1st November and comes to an end on 31st October of the following calendar year. In many districts, cholera usually occurs during the rainy season (Nov to April). Dry season cholera is common around Lake Chirwa.

Update on cholera

In 2017 – 2018 cholera season: 939 cases were reported with 32 deaths (20 facilities and 12 community)13 districts from all the 3 regions were affected.

In 2018 – 2019 cholera season, 26 cases with 1 death were reported (18 culture confirmed and 8 epidemiological link). The case fatality rate in Malawi is 3.8%. The first case was reported on 4th December 2018, at Ndirande Health Centre in Blantyre District and the case died. 6 districts were affected namely Nsanje, Chikwawa, Blantyre, Mwanza and Lilongwe.

No cholera case from the displaced people in the camps was reported. The last confirmed case was reported on 29th October 2019 at Nathenje Health Centre in Lilongwe District.

Measures being undertaken to prevent outbreak of cholera in Malawi including Lake Shore districts.

Although no cholera case has been reported in the current cholera season (2019 – 2020) in Malawi as of 7th January 2020, the following measures are being implemented in order to prevent cholera in Malawi:

• Epidemic Management Committees and Rapid Response Teams are investigating and responding to any suspected cholera case.
• Disease surveillance is in place in all the districts to detect any suspected cholera case.
• Supplies necessary for cholera prevention and control (including Chlorine, transport media) are available in all the districts. Central Medical Stores Trust has all the supplies in stock.
• Health education on Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) is being conducted in the communities in all the districts including schools, churches, mosques and community leaders.
• Distribution of chlorine for household water chlorination in communities with poor access to safe water
• Capacity for cholera case management is in place.
• Suspected cholera cases are reported daily once identified.
• Cross border surveillance on cholera is being conducted.
• We plan to administer Oral Cholera vaccine in Nsanje, Phalombe, Zomba and Machinga

Joshua Malango
Principal Public Realtions Officer
Ministry of Health and Population