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Malawi receives 2.9million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccines to support Cholera outbreak response

Lilongwe, 7th November 2022 –A consignment of 2.9 million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) has arrived in Malawi for a single dose reactive campaign to the Cholera outbreak in the country. The consignment arrives at a critical time as the country continues to respond to the ongoing Cholera outbreak.

As of 6th November, 2022, Malawi has recorded a cumulative 6,868 cholera cases and 203 cholera deaths since the confirmation of the first case in March, 2022. 6,398 people have recovered from the disease and 267 were in the treatment camps.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners are supporting the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health to strengthen water treatment systems, case management, train health care workers, distribute essential medical supplies, and raise awareness on hygiene practices and cholera prevention methods. 

Funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and facilitated by WHO and the Ministry of Health, UNICEF supported the timely delivery of the vaccines from the Global Emergency Stockpile. 

“The OCV campaign that will be carried over the next few weeks is just one of the country’s strategies to strengthen the ongoing cholera response and preparedness in Malawi. The campaign will target 2.9 million Malawians comprising adults and children aged one year and above living in highly affected districts. However, we will still prioritize the provision of safe water and sanitation, and positive hygiene behaviour practices, which are critical to prevent and control the transmission of cholera,” said the Minister of Health, Hon Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP.

The OCV doses received will prioritize the 14 districts with high numbers of cholera cases namely; Karonga, Rumphi, Mzimba North, Mzimba South, Likoma, Nkhatabay, Chitipa, Lilongwe, Salima, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Nsanje, Zomba, and Blantyre.

Note to editors:

CHOLERA UPDATE

All the Districts in Malawi have reported at least one Cholera cases since the confirmation of the first case this year in March in Machinga district. The outbreak has been controlled in four districts. In the last 14 days, the disease has been reported in 24 Districts. 

As of 6th November, 2022, the cumulative confirmed cases and deaths reported since the onset of the outbreak is 6,868 and 203 respectively, with case fatality rate at 3.0%. A total of 6,398 people have recovered and 267 are currently in the treatment centres.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information, visit UNICEF Malawi website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About WHO

WHO has a broad mandate of achieving better health for everyone and working with 194 Member States across six regions and from more than 150 offices. Immunization remains one of the most important tools in fighting epidemics throughout the world alleviating suffering of vulnerable populations. For more information about WHO please visit https://www.who.int/

Media Contacts:

  • Adrian Chikumbe, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Health, Email: adrian.chikumbe@health.gov.mw Tel: +265 999 952 251
  • Rogers Bekisa Siula,Communications Officer, UNICEF Malawi, Email: rsiula@unicef.org| Tel: +265 999 522 225
  • Veronica Mukhuna Zakazaka, Communications Officer, WHO Malawi, Email: mukhunav@who.int | Tel: +265 999 375 094

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