TA Chikweo talks tough on Cholera vaccine

Traditional Authority (TA) Chikweo in Machinga district has threatened to take stiff measures against anyone who will refuse to take health services like drugs in his area.

He made his feelings known to his subjects during a stakeholders meeting in his area on Tuesday aimed at finding lasting solutions on how Cholera outbreak could be controlled in his area that has been hit with so far two reported deaths.

The warning comes as the first nine cases of the disease were of members of Apostolic Church who had gone for prayers at Zalewa in Blantyre over the weekend; however these members are not allowed to take any medication.

 “Let me make it clear here that we are in the current situation because of people who believe that taking drugs is a sin. Innocent people are at risk due to the same.

“Therefore, I am warning everyone that if you feel that your beliefs prohibit you from taking drugs, then your days to be staying with our community are numbered. I am going to force you out of my area so that you settle where they can accept that. I am here to protect my people.

Stakeholders listening tentatively to the warning

“Let me ask health officials present here to initiate mass oral cholera vaccine in my area so that everyone should access it. I am assuring you of my total support during the exercise. I want to register no any cholera case in my area in the future,” Chikweo warned.

Machinga Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Arnold Kapachika said they are ready to deploy health officials to administer oral Cholera vaccine as requested by the TA.

“We are to deploy health personnel to administer the oral Cholera vaccine. It has been our wish to reach out to everyone with the vaccines to the people of Chikweo area,” he said.

According to Kapachika, Machinga district has registered nine Cholera cases and two deaths.

He said Cholera outbreak was recorded in Mthipo village in the area of TA Chikweo in the district.

The DHSS said the mother and a child have died of cholera disease.

 “On May 21, 2022 all Apostolic Church members at Mthipo Village went to Zalewa where they had a church camp. While at the camp, one of the deceased children started purging and died. The body was transferred from Zalewa to Mthipo on May 26 where it was buried the same day.

“A day later, May 27, the mother of the deceased child died after having episodes of diarrhea which severely dehydrated her,” Kapachika expalined.

He revealed that two Cholera patients have been admitted at Chikweo health facility where they are receiving treatment.