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HomeBreaking NewsMalawi Suffers Worst Cholera Outbreak in Decades

Malawi Suffers Worst Cholera Outbreak in Decades

'Quick read' news summary

BLANTYRE, Jan 09 (IPS) – On March 3, 2022, Malawi declared a cholera outbreak after a district hospital in the southern region reported a case. This was the first case in the 2021 to 2022 cholera season.

That single case was a warning for what would become Malawi’s worst cholera outbreak in decades.

For nearly a year now, cholera has gripped the country, with cases reported in all 29 districts and rising.

In an unprecedented occurrence, the cases rose sharply even through the summer months when cholera is least expected and the country least prepared for it.

As of January 4, 2023, up to 640 people were killed, and 19,000 cases were registered, government data shows. The case fatality rate stands at 3.4 percent, higher than the recommended rate of less than one percent.

Maziko Matemba, Executive Director for Health and Rights Education Programme (HREP), a local civil society organisation, says the situation is alarming and keeps the country in a “spiral of health crisis”.

“We started the year 2022 hoping to recover from the devastation of Covid-19. Then Tropical Storm Ana knocked us back in January. In March, cholera hit, and it hasn’t left for ten months, worsening as time passes. We have not had this kind of cholera outbreak for a long time,” Matemba tells IPS.

And there are growing fears that the disease could spread further now that the rainy season when it usually breaks out in Malawi, has begun.

Tropical Storm Ana has played a significant part in this outbreak, experts say. The rainstorm affected 16 districts, including Machinga, where the first cholera case was reported in March, and Nsanje, a flood-prone district and one of the first areas to report cholera cases in

BLANTYRE, Jan 09 (IPS) - On March 3, 2022, Malawi declared a cholera outbreak after a district hospital in the southern region reported a case. For nearly a year now, cholera has gripped the country, with cases reported in all 29 districts and rising. The rainstorm affected 16 districts, including Machinga, where the first cholera case was reported in March, and Nsanje, a flood-prone district and one of the first areas to report cholera cases in

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