Lilongwe, Nov 1 (EFE).- A cholera outbreak has claimed 183 lives in Malawi since March this year.
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the landlocked African nation has accumulated more than 6,000 cases of the debilitating disease that spreads mainly through contaminated food and water.
Deaths reported since the onset of the outbreak is 183, with a case fatality rate of 3 percent, the minister said in a statement late on Monday.
Twenty-seven of 28 districts have reported the disease outbreak since the confirmation of the first case in March in Machinga.
Chiponda claimed the outbreak is under control in four districts.
“A total of 5,721 people have recovered and 147 are currently in the treatments centers,” Chiponda said.
The minister said most deaths occurred in the communities or at health facilities after patients reported late for treatment.
The factors associated with the cholera outbreak in the communities are poor food hygiene, lack of safe water, low-latrines coverage, and open defecation.
“It is sad to note that some cholera patients are not seeking care early due to religious beliefs, and this is making the disease to spread further resulting in unnecessary loss of life in the process.”
He urged community leaders to encourage their members that if anyone has signs and symptoms of cholera, they should seek medical care immediately.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by food or water contaminated with the bacterium “Vibrio cholerae.”
The World Health Organization says the disease remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development. EFE