More than 1,000 deaths in Malawi cholera outbreak

 Malawi has recorded more than 1,000 cholera deaths since the outbreak started in March last year.

This is the highest figure the country has ever recorded for a cholera outbreak.

There are fears health officials are struggling to contain the outbreak as they are running low on medical supplies, including vaccines – most of which were used up last week.

More than 30,000 infec­tions have been reported in Malawi.

Most cases and deaths have been recorded in the capital, Lilongwe and Blantyre, where the opening of schools was delayed to control the spread of cholera.

The widespread cases are linked to the impact of climate change that caused extensive flooding last year and destroyed the country’s water and sanitation systems.

Health Minister, Khumbize Chiponda, has urged people to use safe water and observe basic hygiene, but very few people have access to safe wa­ter and improved sanitation facilities.

Two weeks ago, the coun­try launched an international appeal asking for medical sup­plies to contain the outbreak.

The health ministry has also asked the World Health Organisation to assist them in getting 7.6 million doses of cholera vaccines.

However, with only two manufacturers producing this vaccine and a global cholera outbreak, it’s unlikely that they’ll get them any time soon. —BBC

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