By Kumbukani Kondowe MANA

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says Malawi needs to identify priority areas for multi-sectoral interventions on cholera to bring a long-term solution to the outbreaks.

Chiponda said this on Friday at Ministry of Health headquarters in Lilongwe during a Presidential Taskforce on Covid 19 and Cholera press briefing organised to update the nation on the status of cholera in Malawi as the rainy season is intensifying.

Chiponda observed that every rainy season the nation talks about cholera outbreak, saying this has to change by working towards permanent cholera control measures and added that the government is committed to the global goal of ending cholera by 2030.

“Identifying priority areas for multi-sectoral interventions is of paramount importance for effective cholera control in Malawi, hence concentrating our limited resources and interventions in areas with heightened vulnerability will enable a more focused and efficient response to cholera threats,” said Chiponda.

She further said there are several other interventions that can be used to bring long-term solution to cholera outbreaks, such as sustained political will and leadership, resource mobilisation, community engagement, strengthening coordination and stakeholder involvement, among others.

“As you have observed time and again that the President remains highly engaged and dedicated to the prevention and control of cholera in this country and I, as the Minister of Health, and my colleagues, the Minister of Water and Sanitation, all members of the presidential taskforce and technical experts remain actively alert and involved in the fight against cholera,” said Chiponda.

Chiponda also said that the media are one of the major stakeholders that can be used in combating cholera outbreaks through dissemination of important hygienic messages.

She therefore asked the media to highlight the risk factors for cholera, such as use of unsafe water, poor food hygiene, poor sanitation and low usage of pit latrines, which the public needs to know and prevent at all cost.

Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Mia added that her ministry is doing all it can to fight cholera outbreaks through provision of boreholes in districts and rural areas so that people can have access to safe and clean water for use.

“My ministry has been engaging with CEOs for water boards to ensure that they provide water to people at all times because water interruptions can also lead to cholera outbreak, as it was the case in last year’s outbreak whereby most people affected were in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and partly Mzuzu,” said Mia.

Currently, the cholera outbreak situation in the country remains very low and sporadic, far much better that at the same time last year.

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