A medical personnel stands in front of a ward of a Cholera Treatment Centre, funded by the Unicef, Malawi Red Cross and UK Aid, at Bwaila Hospital in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi, Jan 25, 2018. (PHOTO / AFP)
UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations is working with Malawi authorities to battle the country's worst-ever cholera outbreak, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as of last week, Malawi had reported 36,943 cases of cholera since March 3, 2022, with 1,210 associated deaths. Cases were reported in all 29 districts of the southeast African nation. In January alone, there was a 143 percent increase in cases.
The WFP provided 12 mobile storage units for cholera treatment while increasing safety in nearly 500 schools for over 600,000 students
UN resident coordinator in Malawi Rebecca Adda-Dontoh launched the anti-cholera campaign earlier this week with aid from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Population Fund, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
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The WFP provided 12 mobile storage units for cholera treatment and is distributing chlorine and rehabilitating water points, while increasing safety in nearly 500 schools for over 600,000 students, providing soap, handwashing stations, and cholera information, according to Haq.
"Over the past four months, the UN Population Fund has delivered over 150 cholera beds, 14 tents for cholera treatment and other essential supplies to health authorities," he said.
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In Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, cholera has been endemic since 1998, with seasonal outbreaks reported during the rainy season (November through May), WHO said. However, the current outbreak extended through the dry season last year.