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Blantyre registers 353 cases of pink eye disease

Chichiri Prison has reported 61 confirmed cases of viral conjunctivitis also known as pink eye disease among the inmates, totaling 353 cases registered so far in Blantyre.

This was disclosed on Friday in Blantyre during a community awareness meeting organised by the Blantyre District Health Office [DHO] at Chichiri Prison.

Speaking during the meeting, Blantyre DHO Health Promotion Officer, Chrissy Banda said it was worrisome that the disease was spreading very fast at the prison, appealing to its partners to support the prison in providing hand-washing facilities to ensure that the inmates wash their hands with soap and clean water regularly.

“As of yesterday, March 21, Blantyre DHO had cumulatively registered 353 cases of pink eye. These cases were reported from Chichiri Prison, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and other health facilities. However, efforts are being made to prevent further spread of the disease in the district.

“Currently, we are doing active surveillance of cases and disseminating messages through health workers in communities. Today, we are at Chichiri Prison and we are yet to solicit more support from partners to do similar awareness meetings in different places,” she said.

Banda speaking during community awareness meeting

Banda, therefore, advised the public to follow all the preventive measures that have been instituted to protect themselves from contracting the viral infection.

“The public is advised to avoid using unprescribed medications, herbs and other things, touching or rubbing eyes, sharing personal things like eye glasses and towels that can transmit the infection if used by an infected person and also avoid handshakes and overcrowded places to prevent transmitting the infection to others,” she said.

Banda also encouraged people to report to the nearest health facility for supportive treatment once they start experiencing signs and symptoms of the disease.

In his remarks, Chichiri Prison Assistant Superintendent, Thomas Katambo hailed Blantyre DHO for taking the messages on pink eye disease to the prison and also for rapid response after being notified of the disease outbreak.

Pink eye disease transmits rapidly due to poor hygiene and its symptoms include but not limited to eye itching and discharge.

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