Schools Remain Shut as Cholera Infection Soars in Malawi

Cholera Infections Soar in Malawi, Keeps Schools Closed (News Central TV)

According to the health minister, Malawi has postponed the opening of public schools in its two largest cities, Blantyre and Lilongwe, in an effort to reduce the number of cholera deaths.

“Due to the continuing increase of cholera cases and deaths in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe, primary and secondary schools in the two cities will not start on 3rd January as earlier advised,” Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda said in a statement.

Later, she promised, a new reopening date would be disclosed. Chiponda urged authorities to tighten control efforts, including speeding up immunizations and using chlorine to sanitise crowded areas like marketplaces and schools.

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Since cases were initially recorded in March, the overall number of cases and deaths has risen to 17,824 and 595, respectively, with the mortality rate rising to 3.34 percent, according to the Health Ministry.

Around 100 people per year pass away from cholera in Malawi’s rainy season, which runs from November to March. But it’s anticipated that this epidemic will be the deadliest yet.

In Malawi, victims include doctors who work in public health facilities. In roughly 30 countries worldwide that reported cholera outbreaks in 2022, the U.N. health office reports that death rates are growing, about a third higher than in an average year.

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This is coming after Burundian authorities declared a cholera outbreak in the commercial capital Bujumbura, noting that at least nine cases had been recorded.

The cases have been reported in the northern part of Bujumbura, mainly Bukirasazi and Mutakura as well as Buyenzi, close to the city centre.

The outbreak follows heavy downpours in Bujumbura, resulting in overflows of toilets. The government also blames poor hygiene, adding that it has taken preventive measures.

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