UN Decries Malawi’s Failure to Stem Cholera Spread

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Rebecca Addah-Dontoh, has expressed concern that Malawi continues to grapple with cholera, a disease which should be easily prevented and treated, nearly one year since the disease broke out.

Speaking at Mgona Community Ground in Lilongwe on Monday, during President Lazarus Chakwera’s launch of a cholera fight campaign, Addah-Dontoh, said despite many efforts to end the spread, the cholera disease is still spreading at a faster rate.

“Despite all the efforts since the first case was reported, the situation remains a great concern.

Every day the numbers of new cases increase and sadly, many lives have been lost to a disease which is easily treatable when timely medical care is provided,” said Addah-Dontoh.

She therefore called on development partners to increase their capacity in helping the country contain the outbreak which has claimed over 1,380 lives.

“Cholera may be fast, but we must be faster. More is still needed. I had an opportunity to interact with health workers and they are calling for more resources to treat patients.”

She was speaking in Lilongwe at Mgona Community Ground where President Lazarus Chakwera launched the cholera fight campaign.

She therefore called on development partners to join efforts in assisting Malawi control the spread of the disease which has so far claimed over 1380 people.

The event attracted the participation of Directors of Health and Social Services, chiefs and representatives of foreign organizations including the World Health Organization WHO which is at the forefront assisting the government fight cholera.

In his speech President Chakwera appealed to all Malawians to join forces in fighting the pandemic.

“Nothing government does will stop this disease without a change of behaviors by Malawians living in the communities.”

The President also admitted that the spread of cholera is still high in the country and encouraged people to seek immediate help when they suspect a cholera attack.

“This is a deadly disease which can kill within hours, so everyone should make sure they are safe by simply following hygiene practices.

When you start to feel unwell, do not hesitate, seek help immediately.”

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the disease has not spared anyone. He said the main focus should not be treatment but prevention.

The first case in this outbreak was discovered in February 2022, in Machinga district. To date, over 42,400 cases have been recorded with 1,384 deaths reported.

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