Lilongwe, Malawi … First came typhon Ana with its disastrous effects on the nation. Winds and floods washed away roads, villages, grain storage facilities, millions of hectors of crops, and lives. Portions of southern Malawi have been isolated from the rest of the nation for months. This was followed by famine conditions in much of the country, as thousands of villages lost their entire food reserves, as well as the coming crop for the next year.
Now add a major outbreak in cholera. According to the World Health Organization between March and October there have been 6,056 cases with 183 deaths, with cases reported in 27 of Malawi’s 29 districts. This figure is changing rapidly, with many hospitals short of space and others desperate for supplies. An appeal to the international community has now been sent out by the office of the President and Cabinet.
The original outbreak was centered in the southern part of the nation but has now spread throughout the nation with five districts in the north accounting for 79% of the current cases. The Malawi Project and Action for Progress stand ready to move supplies to the country and into the affected areas as quickly as funds and supplies are made available.
According to Chester Kabinda-Mbewe, Chairman of the board for Action for Progress, “The Cholera outbreak in Malawi is the worst in decades. It has affected every district in the country. Hospitals are full and patients are sleeping on hard concrete benches in waiting bays. Schools that were supposed to open on either the 3rd or 9th of January 2023 are still closed in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. The big problem is the non-availability of resources such as chlorine and hydration salts in hospitals. People are dying, from treatable illness because of the lack of chlorine that would improve hygiene.
In the attached picture you will see chlorine being distributed to Chilomoni Health Centre. However, we had so little and the demand to save lives is so high. The chlorine being distributed in the picture is from an earlier shipment by World Emergency Relief and the Malawi Project.” (The Chilomoni Centre is in Blantyre, Malawi).
Another health care facility in Blantyre, the Makhetha Clinic has been turned into a cholera camp. All other services have been suspended at this location.