UNICEF steps up in Cholera outbreak fight in Malawi

These additional supplies are set to arrive soon, according to a statement released by UNICEF Malawi.

“More supplies worth about $1.2 million have been ordered and will arrive in the country soon,” a statement posted on the Unicef Malawi page reads.

The organization highlights the ongoing challenge of insufficient cholera supplies in the country, which impairs the ability to provide quality healthcare.

The situation remains dire, with 41,900 cumulative cases of cholera reported since the first case was discovered in March last year.

972 patients have been admitted to treatment units, while the death toll stands at 1,368.

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The highest number of cases has been recorded in Mangochi, with 7,511 cases and 121 deaths.

The Health Minister, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, has expressed concern about the lack of understanding in some sections of society about the importance of proper burial practices for individuals who have died from cholera.

A Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU) mounted by Unicef. Pic Curtsey of Unicef

She noted that fear and misinformation about disease outbreaks have led to distrust and hostility towards healthcare workers, and in some cases, even harm and destruction of health facilities.

“The aim of these measures is to reduce [the] further spread of the disease. Unfortunately, such misunderstanding has led to some communities harming our hardworking health workers and destroying health facilities,” she said.

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Recently, community members in Mgona, Lilongwe became violent and vandalized the Area 25 Health Centre after blaming healthcare workers for the death of a resident who was diagnosed with cholera.

In light of this situation, the National Organisation for Nurses and Midwives has called for increased security for its members.

Oxfam has provided crucial support in the form of health, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, with a total value of over $470,000.

The battle against cholera in Malawi continues, and organizations like UNICEF and Oxfam are working hard to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to combat this deadly disease.

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