Public information on cholera outbreak in neighbouring Mozambique

Report
from Government of Malawi
Published on 11 Mar 2017 View Original

The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public and the media that it has received reports of a Cholera Outbreak in Mozambique, in communities neighbouring Malawi such as Moatize in Tete and this is a popular destination township for shopping not only for people from neighbouring districts of Mwanza but also for thousands of businesspeople from across the country. As of 11th March, 2017, three people from Mozambique are reported to have been treated as cholera suspected cases at Gaga Health Centre in Changoimawhich is situated close to the border with Mozambique in Chikwawa district. These patients tested positive to cholera using Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and the Ministry is in the process of confirming the tests at the Community Health Sciences Laboratory in Lilongwe.The Chikwawa district health office is working together with their counterparts on the Mozambique side to control the problem especially the area where these patients live in Mozambique. Mwanza District health office is also working with their counterparts in Mozambique to ensure that the disease is prevented from affecting travelers between the two countries.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium called “vibrio cholerae”. The disease affects both children and adults if untreated it can kill within hours.

We therefore wish to inform all the people in the country especially the people travelling to the affected destinations in Mozambique to exercise great caution and practice safe hygiene. Cholera can be prevented by proper use of latrines, washing hands after visiting the toilet orbefore handling food, using safe/treated water all the time and practising food hygiene. Let us all adhere to such practices, let us prevent cholera. All people in the country are beingreminded to go to the hospital early if they develop diarrhoea or if they are suffering from any other disease. Medical supplies for treatment of cholera patients are available in all health facilities in the country.

All health workers and Port Health Officers in the country have been put on alert with increased surveillance of any diarrhoeal cases. The Ministry is also distributing chlorine to the communities for water treatment. In addition, the Ministry with support from the sending out cholera control information to all the people including those travelling to thecholera affected places in Mozambique.

The Ministry is doing everything possible to prevent any cholera outbreak that may arise from the visits to this area and also within the country. In Malawi, there has been no cholera case reported this rain season.

For more information, please contact

MoH Public Realtions Officer, Mr. A. Chikumbe on 0999952251 E-Mail: achikumbe@yahoo.com

The Head of the Epidemiology Unit of MoH, Dr. Kagoli on 0888899441 E-mail:

mkagoli@yahoo.com

Dr Charles Mwansambo Chief of Health Services MINISTRY OF HEALTH