Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Cholera in Malawi

26 March 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 9 March, WHO has reported a total of 22 023 cases, including 609 deaths (case-fatality rate,  2.8%) in the country since the beginning of the outbreak on the 28th October 2001; The Southern Region is the worst affected region with 69% of the cases reported so far. Laboratory tests have confirmed Vibrio cholerae O1.  

The Ministry of Health has reactivated the cholera control task forces at national and district levels to control the epidemic and  WHO, along with UNICEF is assisting the Ministry to coordinate the response. Surveillance has been intensified at district level and temporary cholera control treatment centres have been established. Chlorination of water supplies is underway in the affected communities and hygiene education has been strengthened. Village committees have been mobilized, encouraging people to use latrines and safe drinking water.

The government of Malawi through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched an appeal  for US$  21 million for the flood and food crisis in Malawi, including funds for controlling the cholera outbreak.  WHO meets regularly with its main partners the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, The United States Agency for International Development and UNICEF  through the Disaster Management UN Theme Group to discuss the course of outbreak and to coordinate the response.

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