Effects of tropical cyclones attributed to Cholera scourge

Ministry of Health has admitted that the country has failed to overcome the effects of tropical cyclones of Anna and Gombe which has contributed to the raise of cholera cases.

Deputy Director for Reproductive Health in the Ministry of Health, Allone Ganizani made the admission on Monday at WaterAid Offices in Area 47 in Lilongwe during Media interface with Officials from Ministries of Water and Sanitation and Health. 

He said the effects have spread country wide due to poor resilient of water and sanitation facilities most communities have instead helped to compound the situation.

Ganizani said the first cases were reported in Nsanje during the rainy season and most of the patients were coming from Mozambique 

Ganizani: effects of tropical cyclones have compounded Cholera situation pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

“We were provided with a climate forecast by Metrological services which predicted that the occurrence of weather partner more similar to 2001 rainy season where health and agriculture sectors were heavily affected by the climatic conditions,” the Deputy Director explained. 

He pointed out that the Ministry had planned to handle over 57, 000 cases of Cholera basing on the 33,000 that ere registered in 2001.

Ganizani said the increase in number of cholera cases has not come as a surprise to us but the only worry is that the numbers are increasing in dry season and they are likely to spill over to the next rainy season.

“We normally start recording Cholera cases in November and we are only a month away. We need to provide right messages on food safety and water and sanitation (WASH) to the communities in order to contain the situation,” he said.

Deputy Director said despite providing Cholera vaccines in some parts of the country, Blantyre and Phalombe districts have performed poorly due to a number of reasons.

He said Blantyre had coverage of 47. 8 percent while Nsanje has an impressive 97 percent uptake of the vaccine.

“As a result of this, Blantyre and Phalombe have had increased number of reported Cholera cases this time around which points to poor uptake of the vaccines,” Ganizani viewed. 

He disclosed that Ministry of Health managed to allocate K190 million funding to WASH activities from K 23miilon from the previous financial year which has helped to improve the implementation of some of the programmes of the sector.

The Deputy Director said partners like WaterAid and other religious institutions should join hands to help government to provide proper water and hygiene messages that would help to reduce the occurrence of Cholera in the country.

WaterAid Head of Policy and Advocacy, Chandiwira Chisi said it was surprising to note that the country should be struggling to contain Cholera situation in dry season.

Chisi: the current Cholera situation is worrisome  pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)  

He added that the current situation poses a challenge to all stakeholders to ensure that they get prepared to overcome the effects of Cholera in the rainy season.

Chisi said if the country could strive to improve WASH sector such occurrences would be minimize and the effects of such tropical cyclones could be things of the past.