Malawi to roll out cholera vaccine after recording 12 deaths

Photo by alliance via Getty Images)
Photo by alliance via Getty Images)

The Malawi government will roll out the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) on Monday in 8 targeted districts as the death toll reached 12 with over 300 cases recorded since the disease broke out in early March.

The country’s ministry of health announced Saturday in its cholera situation update, saying the country has cumulatively recorded 308, including 12 deaths, and that 8 cases were currently admitted.

According to the update, the border district of Nsanje, down south, has recorded the highest case rate of 128 with 8 deaths followed by the commercial city of Blantyre which has recorded 92 cases with 2 deaths.

“There will be oral cholera vaccination (OCV) administration in the 8 targeted districts starting from 23rd May to 27th May 2022,” reads the update, listing the 8 districts including border districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Mulanje, Machinga and Mangochi.

Meanwhile, the Malawi government, through the ministry of health, is conducting health education on safe water for domestic use and personal hygiene, among others, in the affected areas.

The Malawi government has since called upon all stakeholders in the affected and targeted areas to coordinate their efforts to keep the outbreak in check.

“There is an urgent need to improve access to safe water and coverage on sanitation; risk communication and community engagement should be ongoing; and inter-district and cross border coordination and collaboration is very crucial in the prevention and containment of this cholera outbreak,” reads the update.

“Oral cholera vaccine, wherever possible, should be administered to supplement the core cholera prevention and control intervention,” it said.

The Ministry of Health declared a cholera outbreak in Malawi on March 3 after a case was confirmed in one of the country’s laboratories in the Machinga district.